This is the first in a series of upcoming articles from the Society of University Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons (SUO). We are pleased to be able to contribute to ENT Today, and to inform the readership about the society’s activities.
Explore This IssueMay 2008
SUO was formed in the 1960s; its first meeting was in Ann Arbor, MI. The SUO, according to its mission statement, was created …to provide for the exchange of ideas and relevant information germane to the practice of medicine in an academic setting. SUO membership is for academic faculty.
To join SUO, an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon must fulfill the following:
- Hold a faculty appointment in an approved otolaryngology-head and neck surgery residency program, or hold a faculty position in a department/division at an approved medical school.
- Have completed an appropriate residency training program and show promise of a successful career in academic otolaryngology-head and neck surgery as a teacher and/or investigator.
SUO membership is open to faculty with MD or PhD degrees.
The annual meeting of the SUO is held over three days in the fall. The meeting begins Friday afternoon with a popular faculty development course with invited speakers. This course is organized every year by Jo Shapiro, MD, of Harvard Medical School, and is highly rated by attendees. The SUO then meets on Saturday, with an agenda planned by the current president. Typically an invited keynote speaker is included. The meeting concludes on Sunday morning with a short business meeting.
The topics of some recent faculty development courses have been Development and Refinement of Leadership Skills, Handling Disclosure and Apology, and Teamwork, Communication, and Error Prevention: Teaching and Assessing Teamwork Communication Skills. Recent Saturday SUO conferences have addressed Role Models and Mentoring, Challenges in Academic Otolaryngology, and Professionalism: How it is Defined, Measured, and Evaluated.
SUO meetings are collegial and participatory, with time for audience participation and discussion, and the agenda frequently includes panel discussion sessions along with podium presentations to encourage the exchange of ideas. In fact, a frequent SUO attendee has only half-jokingly described SUO meetings as group therapy. Seriously, the exchange of ideas and best practices is very stimulating, as well as being efficient for the specialty, with many tools and concepts circulating among departments after being first discussed at the meeting. Evening cocktail receptions also allow additional time for networking and discussion.
Addressing the Core Competencies
A frequent issue for discussion at SUO meetings is the residency training process. Some recent changes from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) have generated significant interest and discussion, including compliance with work-hours regulations, changes in the PGY-1 training year, and the implementation of the core competencies.