#OTOMTG23 Scientific Program: A Labor of Love
Get ready to see the best of science in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery with the Scientific Oral and Poster Presentations.
The Scientific Program is traditionally the heart and soul of AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO Experience, and this year’s meeting is no different with a program packed full of a wide spectrum of cutting-edge research in otolaryngology, across all subspecialties.
“We are seeing continued growth in the quality and quantity of submissions and presentations. The program looks fantastic and will be inspiring to those who attend the scientific sessions,” said Richard K. Gurgel, MD, MSCI, who serves as a member of the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC).
Assembling the Annual Meeting’s Scientific Program is no easy feat, but according to Dr. Gurgel, it is a labor of love. “There are hundreds of submissions to review, and a relatively short timeframe to review them between the submission deadline and when the program needs to be finalized. Each abstract is carefully considered. The merits of each scientific submission are evaluated on how novel the study is, the study design, the strength of the results, and how the authors communicate the science.”
The result is 540 Scientific Posters and 470 Scientific Oral Presentations, including four Late-Breaking Scientific Oral Sessions, showcasing 38 abstracts, and two Best of Scientific Oral Sessions highlighting the 16 highest scoring papers at the four-day meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
“These highlight the highest-rated submissions with topics ranging from gene therapy for hearing loss, breakthroughs in head and neck cancer treatment, contemporary issues with resident training, postoperative pain management, and many other important topics,” he said.
The AMPC also identified presenters who possess known expertise in the field for the Panel Presentations and placed a deliberate focus on improving the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the presenters, which he said is essential for providing a balanced program.
Dr. Gurgel, who also specializes in otology-neurotology and skull base surgery at the University of Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah, knows a thing or two about what it is like to be on the other side of the presentation as he has been selected to present his papers and posters in the past.
“It is always exhilarating, and a little nerve-racking, to present new scientific research to an audience of your respected peers,” he said. “You anticipate thoughtful questions that can really probe the rationale behind your research, and which often give you new ideas for future projects.”
Dr. Gurgel said he was especially impressed this year with how many early-career physician-scientists are actively participating in research and presenting research, often with an established research mentor.
Mentoring and sponsorship of more junior trainees and the development of the next generation of leaders in our field highlights one of the strengths of the Annual Meeting, he said.
“Coming to the Annual Meeting as a medical student, many years ago, was one of the key factors in helping me choose otolaryngology as a profession because it opened my eyes to the breadth and depth of our field. Being quarantined during COVID also helped me appreciate the power of human connections, and how important it is for us to gather together,” Dr. Gurgel concluded.
“At the Annual Meeting, we have a chance to renew friendships with former colleagues and make new friendships with future colleagues. We are also intellectually invigorated by the quality of the presentations, that are carefully curated to produce the best possible professional meeting.”