Exactly 746 days after the last time we met in person, the 125th meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery kicked off in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday evening, 2 October 2021.
All attendees were vaccinated against COVID-19. The President’s Reception was held outdoors and featured live music, a delicious variety of food and drink, dancing, and several Past Presidents, three of whom are seen in Figure 1. Only two remembered to wear their presidential medallions!
Figure 1. (L-R): President, Dr Carol Bradford, and Past Presidents, Dr sAl Merati, Sujana Chandrasekhar and Gavin Setzen.
Two thousand people, of whom 500 were trainees, attended in person and another 3000 attended virtually. The opening ceremony honoured the leadership of Executive Vice President and CEO, Dr James Denneny, and the three Presidents who found themselves having to helm the Academy’s ship through the COVID-19 pandemic: President-Elect, Dr Ken Yanagisawa; President, Dr Carol Bradford; and Immediate Past President, Dr Duane Taylor (Figure 2). The complex programming to feature both in-person and video presentations, and to engage both audiences fully, was accomplished by the Annual Meeting Program Committee, chaired by Dr Danny Chelius (Figure 3). Free papers, panel presentations, and invited guest speakers covered the breadth of medicine, otolaryngology and humanity. The joy of seeing each other in person after such a long drought was clear on all the faces.
Figure 2. The opening ceremony honoured the leadership of Executive Vice President and CEO, Dr James Denneny, and the three Presidents for their efforts during the pandemic. (L-R): President-Elect, Dr Ken Yanagisawa; President, Dr Carol Bradford; and Immediate Past President, Dr Duane Taylor.
Figure 3. Drs. Sujana Chandrasekhar and Danny Chelius.
Although formal education and question-and-answer sessions can be held virtually, interpersonal mentoring and sponsorship occurs in person. Figure 4 shows Dr Sonya Malekzadeh of Georgetown University and former Academy Coordinator for Education, holding such an impromptu session with, from her right and going counterclockwise: medical student, Ali Welschmeyer; University of Michigan pediatrics fellow, Dr Terrence Pleasant; Georgetown Laryngologist, Dr Bill Gao; and Dr Michael Holliday, who is the Otolaryngology Program Director at UCLA.
Figure 4. Impromptu session with Dr Sonya Malekzadeh.
The Sections of the Academy include the Women in Otolaryngology Section (Figure 5), the Young Physicians Section (Figure 6), and the Section for Residents and Fellows (Figure 7) and their meetings were house-full.
The AAO-HNS thanks all attendees and exhibitors for their support and looks forward to greeting us all at the 2022 meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 11-14 September 2022.
Figure 5. Women in Otolaryngology Section.
Figure 6. Young Physicians Section.
Figure 7. Section for Residents and Fellows.