CORONADO, Calif.—Otolaryngologists from around the country and the world recently gathered at the Hotel Del Coronado to present new research, talk about the issues of the day, and catch up with friends and colleagues at the Triological Society Combined Sections Meeting, held January 24–26, 2019.
Topics ranged from ototoxicity to smartphone apps for sleep apnea to the benefits and drawbacks of academic medical center mergers. More than 600 physicians, medical students, allied health professionals, and others attended, Triological Society officials said.
Charles Tesar, MD, who works at the Sharp Rees-Stealy group otolaryngology practice in San Diego, said he enjoys the meeting mostly for the new research presented. He said he often learns of findings and advances he can take back to the practice and share with colleagues.
“I want to pick up on what’s current and what’s on the horizon,” he said, mentioning a poster he had recently seen on optimal imaging of the nasal valve. He said he also likes the “How I Do It” sessions in which presenters share videos of their surgical work.
Presidential Address Focuses on Getting Involved
Triological Society President Sigsbee Duck, RPh, MD, who is in private practice in Rock Springs, Wyo., used his Presidential Address to emphasize that otolaryngologists appreciate the big picture of their profession and should be active in education, in their communities and in helping shape the healthcare landscape as academic practitioners.
He offered these words of advice:
- “Everybody wants to be a doctor, but nobody wants to go to medical school, so we have an ethical obligation to protect our patients with the best possible care and training we can offer as otolaryngologists.”
- Whether a resident, attending physician, a private practitioner, or academician, he said, “each of us has to find the inner drive and self-discipline to always be searching for the positive answers to the daily quagmires that we find ourselves in.”
- The Triological Society has been essential for helping him stay current with pertinent continuing education. At the same time, through interaction with his colleagues, the Triological Society helped keep him aware of national concerns and offered lessons he was able to put to use locally, although in a different context, as a small-town rural practitioner.
- “Always find a way to take the time to teach a student, a resident, a fellow colleague.”
- “I cannot overemphasize how very important it is to participate in local and state community affairs; this is an extraordinarily important attribute to possess, as local participation opens a door that enables an individual to integrate into his or her community with other business leaders and indirectly promote otolaryngology and healthcare concerns by demonstrating interest in all facets of the community in which you live. We must all be proactive and involved to be sure that we try our very best to leave our profession better off than we found it for our future otolaryngologists and, most importantly, for the care of our patients.”
UCSD wins Resident Bowl
A team of University of California–San Diego, residents won the coveted Resident Bowl trophy at this year’s Triological Society Combined Sections Meeting, beating 17 other teams from around the country.
UCSD—with a roster made up of Aria Jafari, MD; Andrey Finegersh, MD, PhD; and Daniel Schaerer, MD—squeaked past three other finalists: second-place finisher University of Miami, third-place SUNY Upstate, and fourth-place Washington University.
Since the UCSD hospital sits just 10 miles up the road from where the bowl took place on Coronado Island, it might be tempting to chalk up the victory to home-field advantage. But their home turf probably didn’t feel like much of an edge on the day of the contest: All three team members, who wore tropical-colored caps during the competition, worked early shifts and drove straight to the competition from the hospital, they said.
Dr. Jafari allowed that maybe they were “well-rested-ish,” but said, “We were all at work through today, so I don’t know about that.”
They said the victory felt good, especially as the “home” team. But they said their preparation for the event was minimal. Dr. Jafari gave this deadpan description of how they prepared: “I took an Uber from the hospital to Coronado. We bought the hats from Goodwill.”
The competition was a playful and loud contrast to the sedate scientific sessions of the meeting. Team spirit is highly encouraged, and the Crown Room of the Hotel Del Coronado was enlivened with colorful and outlandish costumes: There was a cactus (University of Arizona), pilgrims (Harvard), a lobster, a Red Sox player, and an American colonist (Boston Medical School), and super heroes (UCLA). Audience members cheered and blew into party noisemakers when correct answers were announced.
The Resident Bowl is a quiz game in which moderators ask multiple-choice scientific questions and allow teams 12 seconds to choose their answer. Teams then hold up an A, B, C or D. The first round consists of 25 questions, and the highest-scoring teams move on to the final round.
SUNY Upstate had the highest score after the first round, with 22 points, but three teams had 21 points, so all four teams moved on to the final round, each with a clean slate. The teams were given three oranges to start. With each incorrect answer, the teams had to surrender an orange—they literally threw them to the moderators on the dais—and the last team with oranges won.
The fourth question in the final round proved pivotal. The teams were shown an image and were asked: “Which of the following patient conditions is most often associated with the following actigraphic tracing?” The UCSD team was the only team to answer correctly—blindness. Washington University was eliminated on that question, and Miami and SUNY Upstate had just one orange and UCSD still had two.
SUNY Upstate was knocked out on the next question, leaving just UCSD and Miami.
The last two teams heard this question next: “For children with chronic rhinosinusitis which has been unresponsive to maximal medical therapy, which of the following is correct regarding adenoidectomy?” Both teams got it right: adenoidectomy is beneficial in children 12 years of age or younger.
So they went on to the next question: “Menthol stimulation of the nose can have which of the following effects?” Both teams chose (C) decreased respiratory drive through TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 1). That was wrong—the correct answer was decreased respiratory drive through TRPM8 (transient receptor potential melastatin 8)—and Miami lost its last orange, giving the title to UCSD.
Albert Merati, MD, chief of laryngology at the University of Washington, who helped organize the bowl and acted as one of the lead announcers, clearly enjoyed the event. “There was spirit, planning, knowledge, and a wonderful family feel,” he said.
How many questions would he have gotten right?
“All kidding aside, I would have maybe gotten 10.”
Brookhouser Awarded to Stanley Shapshay, MD
Stanley Shapshay, MD, professor of otolaryngology at Albany Medical College in Albany, NY, received this year’s Patrick E. Brookhouser Award of Excellence, for “significant scientific and service contributions to the society.” Dr. Shapshay is a past president of the Triological Society, the American Laryngological Association, and the American Broncho-Esophagological Association. He has nearly 200 scientific publications to his name, along with three books and 40 book chapters.
“He has promoted the field of otolaryngology, contributing state-of-the art research and clinical strides in otolaryngology,” Dr. Duck said. “It must be noted that, like Pat Brookhouser, Dr. Shapshay’s service to the Triological Society has been extraordinary. … He is the embodiment of what the award is intended to recognize: excellence.”
Dr. Shapshay, in his remarks, praised Dr. Brookhouser, with whom he was close friends.
“Three words come to mind about Pat: a leader—every sense of the word, fine individual. Mentor. Excellent physician,” he said. “I’m very honored to receive this award.”
Thomas R. Collins is a freelance medical writer based in Florida.Multi-Page