ORL Frontiers 2023 Highlights New Approaches to Common Clinical Challenges in Laryngology

October 18, 2023

Otorhinolargyngology frontiers on a dark blue backgroundMore than 70 physicians participated in this year’s ORL Frontiers, sponsored by the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. Held June 23 at the Brown Foundation Institute for Molecular Medicine in the Texas Medical Center, the annual department research symposium celebrates graduating residents, highlighting a different subspecialty area each year, with 2023’s focus on laryngology.

This year’s guest of honor was Al Merati, MD, an internationally recognized leader in the field of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. After finishing his education and completing several very productive years at Kansas University and at the Medical College of Wisconsin, he returned to his native Seattle in 2007 to head the laryngology program at the University of Washington. The program is now widely recognized among the leaders in clinical care, scholarship, and training in the nation.

After a five-year term as service chief for otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center – Montlake, Dr. Merati is now associate medical director for perioperative quality and safety for the UW Medical Centers. He is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed publications and also is the lead editor for the Textbook of Laryngology. He specializes in voice and swallowing, head and neck surgery, and laryngeal cancer.

Dr. Merati has served as senior examiner for the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and as vice president of the Triological Society. He has earned two Distinguished Service Awards from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and is past-president of the AAOHNS and the American Broncho-Esophagological Association. He is one of only a few people who have held both posts.

ORL Frontiers course directors were Amber Luong, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair for academic affairs in the department, and Andrew Tritter, MD, assistant professor and director of the Texas Voice Performance Institute.

At ORL Frontiers, Dr. Merati delivered a lecture entitled “Aim True: Perspectives on Careers, Leadership, and Wellness” about the balance between focus on career and wellness.

Other speakers and topics included:

  • “What have I learned in the last 25 years of managing vocal fold paralysis?” by Dr. Al Merati
  • “Thinking Outside the Box: Pushing Boundaries in Laryngology” by Andrew Tritter, MD
  • “Comprehensive Approaches to Chronic Cough,” a panel discussion with Dr. Merati; Amber Luong, MD, PhD; and Andrew Tritter, MD, moderated by Karim Asi, MD
  • “Practice Patterns in the Use of Superior Laryngeal Nerve Blocks,” a resident research presentation by Dr. Karim Asi
  • “A Systematic Review of the Use of Silastic versus Gore-Tex for Type I Thyroplasty,” a resident research presentation by Dylan Vance, MD
  • “Tackling the Difficult Airway,” a panel discussion with Dr. Merati; Ron Karni, MD; and Ibrahim Alava III, MD, moderated by Dr. Tritter

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