When I was younger, the fall and the beginning of a school year was my favorite time of the year. I loved shopping for school supplies and setting up my school supplies. The excitement was palpable when I thought of gathering new notebooks, highlighters, and pens, imagining how and what I’d learn. Some students like to shop for new school clothes, but I always prefer to shop for my new books, special pens, and markers. While doing so, I thought about my teachers and friends; and what success would look like for that upcoming year. It was a magical time of the year — perhaps not Hogwarts magical, but it had its panache that I couldn’t resist.
Now, as an adult and a practicing comprehensive otolaryngologist, that hasn’t changed too much. Nothing better than opening a new notebook with a special pen, reviewing the learning objectives provided in the program for each educational session, and starting to visualize that first live lecture at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Annual Meeting in Los Angeles after a year-and-a-half in isolation and quarantine.
I am looking forward to in-person learning after a year-and-a-half of neverending virtual calls and webinars. I can’t wait to interact with faculty and ask questions to an expert in person. It seems like our learning was in overdrive this past year and a half trying to understand the novel coronavirus. But so much more has happened this year in the world of otolaryngology. I am looking forward to the new debate format at this year’s Annual Meeting, particularly the debate, Biologics for Nasal Polyps: Is This the End of Sinus Surgery, between Dr. Anju Peters and Dr. James Palmer, asking where biologics fit into the treatment paradigm for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis.
This fall, I again find myself thinking about my friends and colleagues, the faculty at the 125th Annual Meeting, and all of the new things that I will learn, and I again am drawn to a magic that I can’t resist. I hope that you will join me at #OTOMTG21 in Los Angeles.
Dr. Damask is employed by Damask Physicians Group, is contracted for clinical research by AstraZeneca, GSK, and OptiNose, serves on advisory boards for ALK, OptiNose, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, GSK, and Genentech, is a consultant for Audigy Medical, has received payment for lecturing by ALK, AstraZeneca, Genentech, OptiNose, GSK, and Sanofi, and received royalties from Thieme.
Image by gmast3r / GettyImages