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Meeting Activities Extended Outside Convention Center

The San Diego Convention Center was the focus of much of the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM, but attendees found plenty of action outside the convention center, too. They made a field trip to learn about simulation, gave hearing screenings to children, and, in two new sunrise activities at the Annual Meeting, saw San Diego on foot in a 5K run and participated in a yoga program.

A Simulation Field Trip


The Simulation Field Trip featured a variety of simulators to help otolaryngologists pick up education and practice tips.

Simulation as an educational tool has evolved in recent years to become a vital element of most medical institutions. On September 17, a group of otolaryngologists experienced some of the latest advances in simulation at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical School and left with ideas to expand simulation education even more.

“UCSD has a comprehensive simulator center, so this was an exciting opportunity to see a local resource with great capabilities,” said Ellen S. Deutsch, MD, MS, chair of the Academy’s Simulation Education Committee. “It let otolaryngologists explore what opportunities are out there and how people take advantage of simulation centers. It is a novel opportunity, and it was the first time this was done at an Academy meeting.”

The UCSD center highlighted robots for surgery, a virtual temporal bone procedure, suturing stations, a demonstration of teamwork, and a session with a standardized patient where health care professionals learn to better communicate with patients.

“We designed this experience so people could get a sampling of a variety of simulation modalities,” Dr. Deutsch said. “The idea was to get their hands on the simulators to get some idea of their capabilities. A lot of times these concepts make more sense when you have your hands on the equipment.”

But the experience also was an opportunity for faculty members to get ideas for their own simulation centers at home or to teach other health care professionals.

“It was a great opportunity for people to see what is going on in simulation around the country,” said Gregory J. Wiet, MD, MBS, professor of otolaryngology, pediatrics, and biomedical informatics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University. “Whether you are already involved in it or just getting into it, I think it was a great experience to try a lot of different applications of simulation training. I do research in a simulator-type development and I am a member of the Academy Task Force that looks at how we can use simulation for training in all aspects.”

Mark K. Lavigne, MD, Laurinburg ENT Clinic, Laurinburg, NC, was impressed with the temporal bone procedure simulator that gives the user tactile feedback when drilling into a bone.

“It was an excellent program to practice our skills and to see the ways that are being taught today,” he said. “I think it was very realistic. For me, I would like to take some of that back home and maybe help train some of the paramedical folks, the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)s, and the nurses.”

The Simulation Field Trip at UCSD was supported by Atos Medical, Inc.; Karl Storz Endoscopy America; OtoSim; Voxel-Man; and Zimmer Biomet.

Working in the Community


Members of the AAO-HNSF community met children from the San Diego community during a hearing screening program.

In an effort to give back to the Annual Meeting host city, two otolaryngologists, three audiologists, and six audiology doctoral students participated in a hearing screening program for children at the San Diego Neighborhood House Association’s (NHA) Webster Head Start location on September 17.

“The event was a special opportunity for parents to learn about the importance of early identification of hearing loss and for the physicians to be involved with community outreach in a relaxed and non-medical environment,” said Anthony Magit, MD, MPH, clinical professor of otolaryngology and director of the Human Research Protections Program at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. His colleague, Wen Jiang, MD, clinical associate professor of otolaryngology, also participated.

The audiologists from Rady Children’s Hospital provided initial hearing screenings on about 40 children. Drs. Magit and Jiang then performed exams on children with abnormal hearing screenings or tympanograms. They discussed their findings with the child’s parents, who were directed to follow-up with their children’s pediatrician or to have additional hearing tests.

The NHA serves more than 24,000 families through 14 programs and 8,000 children a day through Head Start, a federally funded child development program designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children of low-income families with comprehensive services.

“A lot of these children haven’t been to a doctor until they’ve come through our program. We provide health screenings, dental screenings, eye exams, etc., so today was a jumpstart on some of those benefits,” said NHA President and CEO Rudy Johnson.

“I want to thank the organization for their volunteerism, for their time, and for partnering with the Neighborhood House Association in San Diego. We know there are times when attendees and administrative staff want to get into the community and assist where they can. This was huge for our organization.”

The AAO-HNSF and NHA also provided activity booths for face painting and bubbles, free haircuts, and breakfast. Plus, one boy and one girl each received a

OTOs on the Run and Yoga

0926-OTOs on the Run

Runners show their excitement before the start of the OTOs on the Run 5K race.

OTOs on the Run got off to a fast start September 19 as 129 participants ran in the Annual Meeting’s inaugural 5K race, and the physician-champion of the event said he hopes it will be back for next year’s meeting in Chicago. In another sunrise activity, dozens of people participated in the Annual Meeting’s first yoga program, introduced by the Women in Otolaryngology section.

“I hope it becomes an annual event,” said Academy member and avid runner Noah Siegel, MD, who brought the idea of organizing a 5K race to the Academy. “In addition to promoting its core mission, the Academy is supporting a healthy lifestyle for its members.”

The race took place at dawn behind the San Diego Convention Center and the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, also offered a great view of the bay for the runners. It was that beautiful view as well as the emphasis on health that drew several of the runners.


A sunrise yoga program was organized by Women in Otolaryngology.

“I love to run when I visit cities, so this is a cool way to see the city and participate with the Academy,” said Alexander Langerman, MD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. “I took up running because of my academic career and I knew I would be traveling to meetings. Rather than bringing exercise equipment, I just had to bring a pair of shoes. It is also an opportunity to see a city on fast-forward. It’s a chance to orient myself.”

Ascanio Castillo, MD, Panama City, Panama, who participates in triathlons, echoed those thoughts.

“I’ve always enjoyed exercise, and it keeps you healthy. If you are in the healthcare profession and provide health, you have to project it,” Dr. Castillo said. “Staying healthy is part of the whole package. I enjoy exercising, and it is a fun way to get around and see different places. When I travel, I try to see the landscape.”

Vitor Araujo, a pharmacist for GlaxoSmithKline, Rio de Janero, Brazil, said he likes to participate in races because of both the focus on health and the potential to meet people.

“I believe that taking care of our health is important. I also believe that it is a good opportunity to meet people from around the world who enjoy running,” he said.

Robert Sinard, MD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, also likes the camaraderie of running with his Vanderbilt colleagues, such as Dr. Langerman, while meeting new people.

“Anybody who runs and comes to the meeting wants to do some running. When you see something like this advertised and you know there will be a lot of people there, it encourages you on and makes it a fun thing rather than a chore,” he said.

Dr. Siegel, of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA, said that he would like to see the event grow into an event that could raise money for education for residents or a charity in the Annual Meeting’s host city.

“The run can act as a vehicle to promote both community among meeting participants and fundraising for worthy causes,” he said. “We had a great start, and now we have an opportunity to see it grow.”

The top three female finishers in the race were Marisa Ryan, MD, Durham, NC; Suman Golla, MD, Pittsburgh, PA; and Michelle Marcincuk, MD, Fort Worth, Texas. The top three male finishers were Laurent Fradet, Sherbrooke, Canada; Chad Whited, MD, Austin, TX; and Owen Woods, MD, Montreal, Canada.

See the race results.

Thanks to Karl Storz Endoscopy America Inc, supporter of OTOs on the Run.

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