Perhaps the greatest honor bestowed on the president of the American Head and Neck Society is the opportunity to speak at the annual meeting. I have chosen to address 2 topics of great concern to me: the training of head and neck surgeons and the care of head and neck patients.
Two years ago in San Francisco, our president, Jesus E. Medina, MD, in his inspirational address entitled "Tragic Optimism vs Learning on the Verge of More Change and Great Advances," analyzed the factors that influence the decision of residents to select advanced fellowship training in head and neck surgery.1 He challenged us to be flexible and reminded us that the future belongs to those who are learners and can cope with change, not to those who are learned and live in the past. The following year, responding to that challenge in his presidential address, Ernest A. Weymuller, Jr, MD, explained how the American Head and Neck Society had modified fellowship training, making it more flexible and permitting 1-year fellowships with appropriate curricula.2 He warned us about disturbing trends in applications to otolaryngology residencies and challenged the leadership of the specialty to modify residency program requirements.
Heller KS. The Training of Head and Neck Surgeons: The Care of Head and Neck Patients2002 Presidential Address, American Head and Neck Society. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(1):9-13. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.1.9