In his commentary, "Otology—Its Time Has Come," Dr Pender1 has borrowed a theme that has recently been popular with certain members of our specialty, particularly those who limit their practices to facial plastic surgery. They perceive a need for establishing and formally recognizing "subspecialists" within the field of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery. The difference is that Dr Pender has carried the idea to the extreme by calling for the dismantling of our field into the separate specialties of otology and rhinolaryngology. In my view, this would be extremely unwise.
We are all aware of the academically noble arguments made in favor of subspecialization in otolaryngology. The case is most simplistically illustrated by the contention of certain otologists that stapedectomies ought to be performed by those primarily engaged in the practice of ear surgery. Certainly, they argue, one must be exposed to a minimum number of cases during training,
DANKLE SK. Unity and Progress in Otolaryngology. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(5):489–490. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860050035009
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