Additionally, plans should be put in place for retraining, should those with a narrow focus become displaced by technology. For example, if a drug, genome editing, or nanotechnology eliminates squamous cell carcinoma, we should first cheer this accomplishment, but then be ready to bring our head and neck cancer colleagues displaced by such advancements back into the workforce.
Explore This IssueSeptember 2017
Efforts to this end will be challenging, but we must be committed to learning from the pains of our fellow Americans in the Rust Belt and our changing healthcare landscape. Our diversity as a specialty and the absence of an imminent threat protects us better than most, which represents an ideal opportunity to begin planning. These changes are essential to ensure that we are both efficiently responding to the public need and protecting ourselves from obsolescence.
Dr. Tompkins is the department head of otorhinolaryngology–head and neck surgery at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida.