American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

OHNS News Summer 2015

Craig S. Derkay, MD, FACS, Editor and Chair, Advisory Council for Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Introduction from the Council Chair

As Chair of the Advisory Council, I would like to take this opportunity to update our otolaryngology American College of Surgeon (ACS) members on the activities of your Council and the projects that we are working on along with our colleagues at the College.

First off, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate our otolaryngology colleague, Mark C. Weissler, MD, FACS, who is currently serving as the Chair of the ACS Board of Regents after a nine-year run as a member of the Board of Regents. This position is a tremendous honor that Dr. Weissler has earned through his tireless dedication to the College, including his work on the Committee on Ethics, Honors Committee, Scholarships Committee, Central Judiciary Committee, and Executive Committee of the Board of Regents, and his intelligent, common-sense approach during his tenure on the Board. His determined advocacy on behalf of his fellow otolaryngologists has made a lasting difference in the College, and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude! The Advisory Council will honor him at our upcoming meeting in Chicago, IL.

Our Program Committee liaison, Sanjay Parikh, MD, FACS, also deserves special recognition for his work on our behalf. Dr. Parikh's experience in recruiting excellent content for the otolaryngology Video-Based Education Sessions and his networking through years as a leader in the Young Fellows Association (YFA) positions him well to serve our specialty for the next several years while creating interesting and educational material at Clinical Congress. His early success in this position is evidenced by the rich otolaryngology content at Clinical Congress 2015.

Membership changes to the ACS Otolaryngology Advisory Council include the addition of Joseph Scharpf, MD, FACS, to serve as the ACS YFA representative to the Council. The Advisory Council elected Dr. Derkay for a second term as Chair and elected Dennis Kraus, MD, FACS, to an initial one-year term as Vice-Chair. Alan Micco, MD, FACS, was reappointed as the representative from the American Otological Society, and Michael Benninger, MD, FACS, was appointed as the representative from the Triological Society to the ACS Board of Governors. Congratulations are also in order for two members of our Advisory Council: Greg Randolph, MD, FACS, our American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) representative, was recently elected by our colleagues as AAO-HNS President-Elect, and James Denneny, MD, FACS, our new AAO-HNS Executive Vice President!

The 2014 ACS initiates class of 1,640 was the largest ever and included 109 otolaryngologists! We hope to exceed this record number for 2015!

A specialty page on ACS member benefits for otolaryngologists has been developed and includes a copy of the specialty flyer "I am an Otolaryngologist. Why should I join the ACS?" Please share the value of ACS membership with your colleagues or partners who may not yet be ACS members, and share the flyer at your state and regional otolaryngology meetings to encourage other otolaryngologists to join our ranks.

Recent Activities

ACS Patient Education

The ACS website has been updated with improvements to the Find a Surgeon tool, which includes the capability to fill out a contact form or obtain contact information while reviewing a surgeon's profile. A "Quit Smoking before Surgery" campaign has been launched along with a visually appealing, well-designed handout that will help otolaryngologists meet the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) requirement for providing counseling on smoking cessation. Otolaryngology has been well represented on the Patient Education Committee by Dr. Kraus, and, under his leadership, an initiative has been completed to produce a tracheotomy toolkit for patients.

Optimal Resources for Pediatric Surgical Care

A multidisciplinary, multi-society task force through the College and the Children's Hospital Association (CHA) continues its effort to improve safety in pediatric surgery by holding hospitals that perform surgery on children to a uniform set of standards. This effort is modeled after the College's trauma designation program and will entail voluntary verification site visits to ensure that hospitals are properly resourced and staffed to care for the children who are operated on there. The pilot site visits were completed in the spring of 2015, and the verification program will get going in earnest this late fall or early winter.

The Aging Surgeon

The College is working on revisions to a draft position statement regarding the aging surgeon, which is expected to be submitted for approval by the Board of Regents and made available to the membership. As most can imagine, this is a difficult subject, and the College leadership has proceeded cautiously in setting the right tone for the document.

Button Battery Task Force

Organized in conjunction with the American Broncho-Esophagological Association (ABEA), the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the AAO-HNS, the goal of this multi-pronged effort is to raise awareness regarding the dangers of ingestion of lithium 3V 20mm ("button") batteries. The campaign aims to educate the public, emergency room physicians, radiologists, gastroenterologists, pediatric surgeons, and otolaryngologists about the urgent need to remove these devices when they are encountered. Importantly, the task force is working with the industry to improve packaging, design, and availability of these potentially lethal objects. The Panel Session "Button Batteries and Magnets: Ingestion of Foreign Bodies," co-sponsored by our colleagues in pediatric surgery, will take place on Tuesday, October 6 at Clinical Congress 2015.

Restructuring of the Advisory Councils

Dr. Derkay was part of a task force of Advisory Council Chairs formed to mimic the Board of Governors' (BOG) establishment of representative committees based on the five pillars of College activities. Each of the 13 Advisory Councils have nominated one person to the five pillar working groups. These groups will meet during the Leadership and Advocacy Summit in the spring and at the Clinical Congress in the fall in conjunction with their colleagues on the BOG. They will report back to their respective Advisory Councils. The Advisory Council for Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery representatives are:

  • Joseph Schrapf, MD, FACS (Communication)
  • Sanjay Parikh, MD, FACS (Education)
  • Megan Durr, MD (Member Services)
  • Jeffrey Burns, MD, FACS (Quality)
  • Greg Randolph, MD, FACS (Advocacy)

ACS Program Committee Initiatives

I can report to you, in my role as Vice-Chair of the Executive Program Committee, that we have embarked on several initiatives to improve the Clinical Congress, including:

  • Streamlining the submission process for abstracts to the scientific program and the Scientific Forum
  • Uniform grading of abstracts
  • Access to PowerPoint presentations by attendees after Clinical Congress
  • An improved process for claiming continuing medical education (CME) credit
  • Webinar development aimed at moderators and co-moderators of panel presentations to ensure fair representation by speakers of all relevant specialties

This process involved an extensive development of clinical and nonclinical taxonomy categories and prioritization by the Advisory Councils based on frequency of presentation of these topics. The Program Committee will also endeavor to provide feedback to the Councils regarding why proposals were not accepted.

Register Now for Clinical Congress 2015

Registration is open, and plenty of excellent housing opportunities are still available for this year's Clinical Congress, which takes place October 4–8 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Register by August 24 to qualify for early bird rates.

Highlights of Clinical Congress 2015 include the following Panel Sessions, Meet-the-Expert Luncheons, and Postgraduate and Skills Courses sponsored by the Advisory Council or tracked to otolaryngology:

Monday, October 5

  • Adult Neck Mass: Contemporary Evaluation and Strategies
  • Head and Neck Cutaneous Malignancies
  • Thyroid Nodules: What Am I Supposed to Do?
  • Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma: What Do You Need to Know?
  • Novel Treatments for GERD
  • Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Video-Based Education

Tuesday, October 6

  • Button Batteries and Magnets: Ingestion of Foreign Bodies
  • Current Management of Thyroid Nodules
  • MOC Review: Essentials for Surgical Specialties
  • How to Assess Outcomes/Quality Improvement for Residents
  • Should That Surgeon Be Operating?

Wednesday, October 7

  • Thyroid and Parathyroid Ultrasound Skills Course
  • Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy: How I Do It
  • Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections: Time Matters
  • Review of the New American Thyroid Association (ATA) Guidelines on the Management of Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer
  • New Horizons in Skull-Based Surgery
  • The Surgeon's Role in Treating Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
  • You're Not Alone: Emotional Impact of the Electronic Medical Record
  • Melanoma 2015: Integrating New Knowledge into Your Clinical Practice

Thursday, October 8

  • Hyperthyroidism: Primary versus Secondary versus Tertiary
  • Striving for Patient Satisfaction in the Era of the Affordable Care Act
  • How Do We Credential Surgeons in the Use of New Technology?

Medical Student and Resident Involvement in the College

Members of our Advisory Council will be participating in a "meet and greet" reception for medical students attending Clinical Congress. In a format that is similar to speed dating, prospective otolaryngology residents get the opportunity to ask questions of Advisory Council members about our specialty.

Honors and Awards

As previously announced, nominations from our Advisory Council for the two most prestigious awards offered by the ACS resulted in the presentation of the Jacobson Award for Surgical Innovation to Robin Cotton, MD, FACS, FRCSC, in 2014 and Jonas Johnson, MD, FACS, is a past recipient of the Sheen Award. If members have suggestions for otolaryngologists to be nominated for honorary membership in the College, please forward these names to Dr. Derkay.

Scholarship Opportunities for Otolaryngologists

Among the many scholarships, fellowships, and awards offered by the College, there are specific opportunities for otolaryngologist awardees:

  • The 2015 ACS/AAO-HNS Health Policy Scholarship was awarded to Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, FACS, of New York, NY. Dr. Chandrasekhar attended the Leadership Program for Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University. The intensive one-week program equips health leaders with the knowledge and skills essential for creating innovative and sustainable solutions to improve the quality, cost effectiveness, and efficiency of health care service delivery, and participating in health care policy and reform.
  • The ACS/Triological Society Clinical Scientist Development Award is a competitive grant program to provide supplemental funding to otolaryngologists–head and neck surgeons who have received a new National Institutes of Health Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08/K23) or have an existing award with a minimum of three years remaining in their funding period.

More information on ACS scholarship and research opportunities is available on the ACS website.

Dates for Future AAO-HNS and ACS Meetings


September 27–30, 2015
Dallas, TX

September 18–21, 2016
San Diego, CA

ACS Clinical Congress

October 4–8, 2015
Chicago, IL

October 16–20, 2016
Washington, DC

ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit

April 9–12, 2016
Washington, DC

Roster of Advisory Council for Otolaryngology–Head Neck Surgery for ACS

Craig S. Derkay, MD, FACS, Norfolk, VA

Dennis H. Kraus, MD, FACS, New York, NY
Governor / American Laryngological Association

Michael Benninger, MD, FACS, Cleveland, OH
Governor / Triological Society

Jeffrey M. Bumpous, MD, FACS, Louisville, KY
Governor / Society of University Otolaryngologists

James A. Burns, MD, FACS, Dover, MA
American Bronchoesophagological Association

James C. Denneny III, MD, FACS, Alexandria, VA
Governor / American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Megan Durr, MD, San Francisco, CA
ACS Resident and Associate Society

Fred G. Fedok, MD, FACS, Gulf Shores, AL
Governor / American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Alan G. Micco, MD, FACS, Chicago, IL
Governor / American Otological Society

Sanjay R. Parikh, MD, FACS, Seattle, WA
Program Representative
Young Surgeon Representative / American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Gregory W. Randolph, MD, FACS, Boston, MA
American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Joseph Scharpf , MD, FACS, Cleveland, OH
Young Surgeon Representative / ACS Young Fellows Association

Brent A. Senior, MD, FACS, Chapel Hill, NC
American Rhinologic Society

Theodoros N. Teknos, MD, FACS, Columbus, OH
American Head and Neck Society

Mark C. Weissler, MD, FACS, Chapel Hill, NC
ACS Board of Regents

ACS Staff Liaisons

Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director, Division of Member Services

Mark Peterson, Advisory Council Administrator