As an otolaryngology professional organization committed to enhancing the knowledge and skills of physicians and others in their care of the allergy patient, the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) prides itself on its educational efforts and socioeconomic achievements that help fulfill this mission. Representing more than 2,700 members, the AAOA centers its resources on the role of allergy diagnosis and management within the practice of otolaryngology. Our primary member services focus on education and advocacy.
From an advocacy standpoint, we have developed a collaborative relationship with general allergy through the Joint Council of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology to pool our resources and expertise with the goal of supporting our members and their patients in the areas of access to care issues, relative value and CPT issues, and related health care delivery and compliance issues. This synergy has helped both general allergists and otolaryngology allergists increase their voice within the health care system to improve care.
From an education perspective, the AAOA has developed and refined an evidence-based scope of knowledge to serve as the basis for all of our educational programming. Annually, we offer four educational programs focused on the diagnosis and management of allergy and related upper respiratory disorders, specifically as they impact the otolaryngology practice.
The “Core Basic Course/Allergy and Rhinology Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Review Course,” which takes place February 1-3 at the Four Seasons Dallas at Las Colinas, will present basic concepts and techniques applicable to the clinical care of allergy patients, as well as review key fundamental components in preparation for MOC examination. The course is limited to a physician audience.
The program goals for this course are:
- Enhanced understanding of allergic disease—differential diagnosis, testing techniques and therapeutic modalities;
- Enhanced understanding of allergy symptomatology, its role within otolaryngology and the inflammatory disease process;
- Enhanced knowledge of patient management fundamentals; and
- Enhanced understanding and therapeutic management of sinus disease, including differential disease, co-morbidities, disease management and complications.
Allergy is an integral part of general otolaryngology practice, and inhalant allergy will be one of only four medical knowledge competency milestones that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) plans to monitor in the next accreditation cycle for otolaryngology-head and neck surgery training programs. To assist with this goal, we invite each of the ACGME-accredited programs to nominate resident candidates to participate in the core allergy components of the program. Our goal is to support the training programs in their educational endeavors by offering complementary programming tied to allergy diagnosis and management. We reach out to the training programs directly for candidate nominations. Resident candidates must be AAOA resident members or resident member candidates to qualify.
The AAOA’s “Basic Course in Allergy and Immunology” will be held July 11-13 at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe, Calif. This course presents basic concepts and techniques applicable to the clinical care of allergic patients. The program goals for this course are:
- Enhanced understanding of an appropriate allergy history, physical findings interpretation and assessment of the likelihood of allergy;
- Enhanced understanding of the basic pathophysiology of inhalant allergy;
- Enhanced understanding of allergy diagnosis using various testing techniques;
- Enhanced understanding of avoidance and pharmacologic management of allergic symptoms; and
- Enhanced understanding of how to initiate, escalate and adjust allergy immunotherapy with appropriate safety precautions and allergy emergency management.
The “Advanced Course in Allergy and Immunology” will be held in December 2013. This course presents advanced diagnostic and treatment modalities to improve the clinical care of the allergy patient, including the more complicated patient. The course program goals are:
- Enhanced understanding of the role of allergy diagnosis and management in an otolaryngology practice;
- Enhanced understanding of the principles of objective dosing, vial safety and related therapeutic options;
- Enhanced understanding of the current evidence in terms of sublingual immunotherapy; food allergy; ocular, oral, pharyngeal and laryngeal manifestations; otitis; and rhinosinusitis; and
- Enhanced understanding of the impact of the unified airway and its role in identifying and managing inflammatory disease.
The “Annual Scientific Meeting” immediately precedes the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Annual Meeting and will be held September 27-29 at the Hotel Fairmont Vancouver in British Columbia. Featuring state-of-the-art basic and clinical research, the meeting will encompass original research, panel discussions, instruction courses and workshops to offer attendees a wide selection of CME opportunities.
AAOA Foundation Research Grants
The AAOA Foundation (AAOAF) is committed to supporting research—both basic and translational—aimed at improving patient care. We strive to identify collaborative opportunities with otolaryngology training programs to help residents understand the role of allergy diagnosis and management within otolaryngology and to develop an interest in improving current diagnostic and therapeutic options to improve patient care. This partnership is seen clearly in our focused resident research opportunities, resident travel grants and our annual “Core Basic Course” for residents, which focuses on resident education and is sponsored solely through the AAOA.
The AAOAF’s mission is to promote scientifically rigorous research that improves the quality of life for the allergic patient through a philosophy of improving patient care through AAOAF-sponsored research. The foundation’s research goals are to:
- Conduct scientifically rigorous research;
- Mobilize AAOA members;
- Mobilize academic programs; and
- Reduce barriers to research participation and success.
Each year, the foundation reviews research study progress reports, announces studies funded for the present year, and prioritizes research needs for the immediate and future cycles. Grant recipients are expected to present their results at an AAOA meeting and submit the resulting manuscript to the AAOA’s journal, International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.
Pilot studies: The research funding priorities for the AAOAF support pilot projects in allergic, inflammatory and respiratory disease. Applications are accepted three times a year, and research grants are considered on scientific merit and feasibility. Deadlines for consideration are March 15, July 15 and November 15 of each year.
Research in Otolaryngology and Allergy Development (ROAD) scholarship program: The ROAD Scholarship was developed by the AAOA to partner resident researchers with mentors in order to help develop research in allergy, immunology, inflammatory process and related respiratory disease.
The AAOA-ROAD Scholarship Committee reviews grant proposals based on scientific merit and feasibility. Scholarships of up to $5,000 are available. Recipients are required to present their research at an AAOA Scientific Meeting and submit it to the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.
CORE grant: In a collaborative effort with the AAO-HNS, the AAOA Foundation participates in the Centralized Otolaryngology Research Effort (CORE). Applications for the 2013 cycle will be accepted starting in December. Visit www.entnet.org/core for more information.
To apply for any of the grants above, download the AAOAF Research Grant Application, available at aaoaf.org, and submit your application by one of the deadlines above. Present your results at an AAOA meeting and submit the resulting manuscript to the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.
Resident Travel Grants
In an effort to enhance resident education on the role of allergy diagnosis and management within otolaryngology, the AAOA offers resident travel grant awards for its Basic Course, Advanced Course and Annual Meeting.
To assist residents with course costs, the AAOA will offer a stipend award that includes course registration and a monetary award for travel costs. In an effort to maximize the number of individuals receiving awards, priority will be given to residents who have not previously been awarded a travel grant.
Resident travel grant application requirements are as follows:
- Join the AAOA for a one-time resident fee of $45 (visit aaoaf.org to download the application);
- Apply for the travel grant by submitting a letter expressing your interest in the AAOA and its programs, and explaining why you should be a grant recipient;
- Include a letter of recommendation from your program director on letterhead; and
- Register for the AAOA meeting.
Please note that deadlines differ for different courses, and all applications must be complete and postmarked by due date in order to be reviewed and considered.
For more information on the AAOA or any of its programs, please contact Matt Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.