Plan of Action
To reach this end, what are otolaryngologists to do? I recommend several possible strategies. These may include pairing up with local sleep physicians or attending national or international courses devoted exclusively to sleep issues.
Explore this issue:January 2007
Learn from your patients. This begins with taking a sleep history. Few patients have only one sleep disorder, and the more comprehensive approach will be educational and will result in improved patient care.
Join the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Establish contacts with those who are already actively involved in otolaryngology and sleep, who will be enthusiastic to share expertise and experiences.
Finally, do not let structural or political impediments prevent you from pursuing an interest in sleep. Years ago, sleep studies involved a ceiling-high array of amplifiers, a maze of ink pens, and an entire forest turned into paper. It was the private and exclusive domain of the clinical polysomnographer. Sleep studies are now far more accessible. They can be only a mouse click away or carried on a CD. The needed equipment may be with an amplifier smaller than one’s hand.
Ultimately, board subcertification in sleep medicine is an enormous opportunity for otolaryngology and improved patient care and outcomes. I encourage those with an interest in sleep to actively participate in the future academic, educational, and socioeconomic growth of sleep medicine.
©2007 The Triological Society