LAS VEGAS—Triological Society members should constantly be assessing their contributions to their profession and working to create meaningful legacies in line with the group’s traditions, said Society President Frank E. Lucente, MD, in his presidential address at the Annual Meeting of the society, part of the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings held here April 28-May 2.
Explore This IssueJune 2010
Tracing the history of the organization, Dr. Lucente pinned his address on the society’s “Upholding the Noble Legacy” slogan and touched on memorable remarks of past presidents to drive home his points.
“What is the legacy of our society and how does it relate to our history?” Dr. Lucente, vice dean for graduate medical education and former chairman of the department of otolaryngology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., asked the crowd.
Those questions stem from the day in June 1895 when 11 physicians met at the New York home of Robert Myles, MD, to talk about forming the Triological Society.
The Triological Society’s first president, Edward Dench, MD, who took that office at age 32, said it was “beyond the power of mortal man” to become an expert in the entire field of medical knowledge.
By the society’s third meeting, it boasted 153 members. In 1897, vice presidents were chosen to represent different sections of the country.
The Triological Society has led the field in bringing distinguished otolaryngologists together to share information. At the 1912 annual meeting, for example, post-graduate education began to be codified. That step led to the creation of the American Board of Otolaryngology in 1924.
Dr. Lucente said the society continues its commitment to scholarship and outreach. Grant support, for example, has risen from $100,000 in 1994 to “over $300,000 this year,” he said. In addition, smaller resident grants have gradually been replaced by larger career development grants, with awards that range from $40,000 to $80,000.
—Frank E. Lucente, MD
A Noble Responsibility
As the society grows, members need to stay loyal to its roots, he said. Leadership is a key part of contributing to the organization, Dr. Lucente said. “Today, are we consistently and aggressively acting in ways to protect the rights of patients?” he asked. “Are we promoting healthy living rather than just capitalizing on disease? Are we mentoring young physicians and helping them get established in our communities? Are we donating our efforts to the training of our successors? This will help assure the legacy of the society.”