Third Annual ‘ENT in the Desert’ Symposium Draws National Audience and Prominent Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons to Tucson, Feb. 19-21

Third Annual ‘ENT in the Desert’ Symposium Draws National Audience and Prominent Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons to Tucson, Feb. 19-21

In just three years, the “ENT in the Desert: Updates in Otolaryngology Symposium,” hosted Feb. 19-21 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort by the new Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, has become one of the must-go events in the yearly calendar for otolarynogology and its related specialties. Course registrants include otolaryngologists from across the country, and this year’s event is expected to draw nearly 150 participants.

Dr. Alex ChiuOfficially launched in October 2014, otolaryngology is the first department created at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson since 1990. It’s already in the top 40 in NIH funding for otolaryngology and has earned top-30 rankings nationally as a specialty by U.S. News & World Report, most recently in 2013.

Later this week, UA Department of Otolaryngology  chair and Professor Alex Chiu, MD, will lead the three-day, CME-accredited event. Along with fellow course directors Stephen Goldstein, MD, FACS, director, Facial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and associate professor of otolaryngology; and Abraham Jacob, MD, director of the UA Ear Institute and associate professor and vice chair of otolaryngology.

Dr. Stephen Goldstein“We have a national lineup of speakers, including two department chairs as well as other prominent members in the ENT field nationally and statewide,” Dr. Chiu said. “Last year, we had attendees from 20 different states — mainly ENT physicians — participating in the conference.”

Among course features will be a live televised endoscopic sinus surgery performed by Dr. Chiu as well as dissections and panels on subjects ranging from head and neck cancer to facial plastic surgery to lateral skull base disorders. In addition, special themes are dedicated to partners from the UA Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences as well as the audiology community, and Arizona Society of Otolaryngology, which co-hosts its spring meeting during the symposium.

Dr. Abraham JacobThe interactive nature of courses as well as their 15 continuing medical education credits (CMEs) are big plusses for the symposium, said Dr. Goldstein, who is the society’s president-elect. “Based on our feedback, a lot of participants really like our talks, which are a little more clinically oriented, and the panels because of the give-and-take that goes on there during discussions,” he said. “In panels, we allow people in the audience to ask questions. That makes a big difference in how we mix and match that. It’s more interesting for course participants that way. They get more out of it.” 

Aimed at general otolaryngologists, residents and primary care physicians and clinicians, symposium course themes include: Rhinology and Allergy, Otology and Audiology, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Practice Management, and Head and Neck Cancer Treatment. 

Among prominent speakers are:

  • Colin L.W. Driscoll, MD, chair, Department of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • Derrick Lin, MD, FACS, director, Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, and co-director, Cranial Base Center, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General, Boston
  • Ira Papel, MD, FACS, associate professor, Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, and principal, Facial Plastic SurgiCenter, Baltimore
  • Michael Stewart, MD, chair, Department of Otolaryngology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and chief, Otolaryngology, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York
  • Winston Vaughan, MD, founder, California Sinus Institute, Bay Area
  • Ryan Rehl, MD, founder, Arizona Sinus Center, Phoenix, and president, Arizona Society of Otolaryngology

On Feb. 21, the department’s newest surgeon, Eugene Chang, MD, director of Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery and associate professor of otolaryngology, will speak on “Contemporary Management of Nasal Polyposis” and serve on a panel about “Rhinology and Practice Management.” Dr. Chang is an up-and-coming sinus and nasal surgery specialist with NIH-funding focused on sinonasal and upper airway disorders and specifically targeting chronic sinus disease and cystic fibrosis. Coming to the UA from the University of Iowa – ranked in the top 10 otolaryngology training programs over the past 25 years, he also receives funding from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Added Dr. Jacob, “ENT in the Desert is an excellent opportunity for practicing ENT physicians to fulfill their continuing medical education requirements at a nice venue. World-class speakers and topics are presented and, of course, you can’t beat Tucson and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in February!”

Learn more about the conference agenda, registration and hotel reservations at

Drs. Chiu, Goldstein, Jacob and Chang see patients in clinic at the University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus — soon to be Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, following the closing of Banner Health’s merger with the University of Arizona Health Network this month. To make an appointment, please call (520) 694-8888. Learn more at

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Monday, February 16, 2015 - 13:09