“Is the pursuit of excellence still possible? It must be the fundamental creed, mission, passion, expectation, and commitment of physicians today. For at least the last two decades, the brightest and most able graduates of the medical schools in the United States have chosen the specialty of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. These young physicians have medicine’s great future for discovery and enhancement of patient care, prevention of disease, and promotion of health ahead of them in the span of their careers as perhaps no other generation of physicians or specialists in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery has ever had. By our pursuit of excellence, we ensure their destiny and that of their patients, and inspire others. Yes, the pursuit of excellence is possible. It is our raison d’etre.”
Explore This IssueApril 2022
—Alford, BR. The pursuit of excellence—is it still possible? Laryngoscope. 1996;106:1266-1268.
Always ahead of his time, Dr. Alford would have loved this issue of ENTtoday featuring thoughtful ways we handle new challenges, advances in our specialty, and wisdom from individuals who are propelling us toward excellence.
As a specialty, we are constantly facing new challenges. The pandemic has woken us up and asked us to reconsider how to interact, as discussed in “Another Look at Medical Conferences.” And while physicians may have concerns about the impact of OTC hearing aids on our practices, leaders from our specialty provide valuable and nuanced insights to enhance care while creating an opportunity to help more patients.
While there are many ways to advance patient care, much wisdom is shared in “Otolaryngologists as Entrepreneurs.” Addressing unmet clinical needs through innovation creates tremendous value and is critical to advance our specialty. While concerns about conflicts of interests are understandable and need to be appropriately managed, physician participation is crucial to ensure important problems are addressed and resources are utilized efficiently.
A great example of technology advancing our specialty is described in “New Advances in Sinus Navigation,” which describes the evolution of this technology. Several years ago, Jeff Hopkins, president of Acclarent, encouraged me to spend a day observing electrophysiology cases. The experience was transformative. In these cases, an intervention was performed on a computer-generated three-dimensional model using a variety of sensors and instruments at a distance based on a catheter. The application of augmented reality and technology developed for electrophysiology within the paranasal sinuses is advancing what can be accomplished while reducing the potential patient morbidity.