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Sticking to Science amidst Pandemic Panic

Shifting Sands: The COVID-19 “Science” that Informs ENT Practice in the Fog of War

Monday, September 14, 3:00 – 4:00 pm (ET)

Comprehensive Otolaryngology Track


C.W. David Chang, MD

As the advent of the internet indicated and present-day issues have helped to confirm, not all sources are created equally. In the era of COVID-19, otolaryngologists are tasked with assessing the value of the literature they consume—or create—to ensure that the science is sound.

“We need to be very cognizant that information is incomplete, and that we are operating in the ‘fog of war,’” said C.W. David Chang, MD, Co-chair of the AAO-HNS Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Committee and moderator of Monday’s session that includes the following panelists: Michael J. Brenner, MD, Emily Stoneman, MD, and Brian A. Moore, MD. “Unfortunately, scientific understanding is often viewed through other lenses, including social, economic, and partisan perspectives.”

It’s natural to want to chime in on an issue that is gripping the globe. But who should be chiming in—and who should be vetting that information—is a different matter entirely.

“Early on in the process, there were many manuscripts that were being released electronically for public consumption prior to peer review,” said Dr. Chang. “The internet has allowed for a quick dissemination of not only news but information before being completely vetted. This does allow for quick mobilization and response but can also result in the spread of misinformation. When reading and implementing the results of a publication, it is incumbent upon us to carefully assess and understand the nuances of the manuscript in its entirety, not just reach for the Reader’s Digest version.”

As a medical community, it’s not easy to plan for a response to a pandemic that came along so unexpectedly and has been so disruptive.

“It’s hard to plan for a bogeyman that we’ve not viscerally experienced,” said Dr. Chang. It’s an issue he’ll be discussing with other panelists, as well as otolaryngology-specific COVID-19 questions like transmission perspectives, treatment plans, surgery deferrals, and more.

If you miss this live event, it will be available in the on-demand library of education content within 48 hours following the presentation.