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MARCH 2022 ENT Newsletter

A Letter from the Chair

New Residency Program to Offer a Unique Blend of Technology and Experiences

As medical technology evolves with new possibilities for innovation in otolaryngology, medical institutions can go one of two routes: Pump the brakes with an incremental approach to adopting change, or accelerate into the future with ambitious plans for integrating technology into every aspect of education, research and clinical practice. At Houston Methodist, we’re rapidly adopting new methods and technology, and we’re committed to a high-tech approach for training the next generation of otolaryngologists with our new residency program. We’re excited to announce the formation of our new ACGME-accredited Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Residency Training Program, which will be accepting two residents in July. It has been almost five decades since a new otolaryngology program has been established in the Texas Medical Center, and we’re thrilled to provide a leading-edge residency program for medical students who thrive in a fast-paced, high-tech environment.
Mas Takashima, MD, FACS
    Technology in education The Houston Methodist Academic Institute has been training Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery residents for over 70 years, but the launch of our new program gives us a clean slate to develop an innovative curriculum and refine the training program utilizing both traditional and validated alternative learning techniques. Here’s a look at some of the ways we’re changing educational modules with support from the Houston Methodist Institute of Robotics, Imaging and Navigation:
    • Implementing new ways to improve telemedicine
    • Using 3D surround videos for OR procedure recordings
    • Adapting the Oculus system for virtual reality anatomical dissection
    • Using Microsoft HoloLens for augmented reality surgical procedure education
    • Optimizing videoconferencing platforms to teach from the OR in real time
    • Incorporating artificial intelligence to teach the basics of reading CT scans
    • Developing a virtual platform for residency and faculty recruitment
    Tech-driven research It’s a fascinating time to be a physician and a learner, with so many dramatic digital changes happening in our world. With the volume of medical literature being produced, it’s impossible for a single person to comb through all the data and apply that knowledge to patient care. The next generation of doctors needs to understand how to interface with artificial intelligence (AI) so learning is improved, which results in better patient care. To date, the application of AI in our field has been minimal. To improve upon this, we have partnered with three different AI companies to bring AI into our specialty. We’re focused on opportunities for innovation and our residents and trainees benefit from exposure to new technology. A few examples:
    • FDA IDE trials of the next-generation hypoglossal nerve stimulator
    • Interfacing with industry to vet new technologies
    • Analyzing new medical devices and therapeutic approvals for our specialty granted by the FDA in the State-of-the-Art Review 2020.
    High-tech facilities and equipment The flagship Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center has more than 85 operating rooms, 900+ inpatient beds, seven ICUs, and a quality and safety record that is among the best in the nation — all characteristics critical to housing an exceptional training program. We’re one of a few hospitals in Texas with a Da Vinci single port robot, the only robotic surgical system approved for use in Otolaryngology. Only a handful of institutions around the country have the Olympus ORBYE, a 3D exoscope that allows for better surgical positioning for our surgeons. We also completed a revamp of our OR with 4K imaging and streaming. This allows us to utilize cameras throughout the OR that feed straight into an interactive live training environment. We have bold plans for a residency program driven by innovation and technology with opportunities for research in our state-of-the-art facilities. We invite you to view our residency program flyer for more information and share it with your students and colleagues. As always, we appreciate your continued collaboration with us. Mas Takashima, MD, FACS Professor and Chair Department of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery Houston Methodist Academic Institute
    Technology in education The Houston Methodist Academic Institute has been training Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery residents for over 70

    USNWR and Doximity Survey

    Doximity officially opened the 2022-2023 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals and Specialty survey. I am personally asking you for your help in promoting national recognition by participating in the annual survey of physicians through This survey is of utmost importance to us. Your vote matters and will help us get the word out to our patients that we provide advanced Otolaryngologic care.
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