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Pediatric Otolaryngology Practice Continues to Evolve

MONDAY, March 5, 2018 -- The pediatric otolaryngology (ORL) specialty has evolved over the past decade, with a notable decline in involvement in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Alexandria L. Irace, from Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues assessed changes in caseload at pediatric ORL practices over the past decade, using an online survey sent to pediatric ORL chairs or fellowship directors at 42 institutions in the United States and abroad.

Based on responses from 23 academic institutions in the United States and 10 international ones, the researchers found OLR involvement least among procedures pertaining to facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, aerodigestive endoscopy, and congenital anomalies. In contrast, a mean (standard deviation) of 91 percent (7 percent) of respondents reported performing 90 to 100 percent of otology, airway, rhinology, and general procedures. Overall, a mean (standard deviation) of 82 percent (11 percent) of respondents reported that their department's involvement in each procedure has remained the same from 2006 to 2016.

"The specialty of pediatric ORL has evolved over the past decade. There has been a notable decline in involvement in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and treatment of vascular malformations and esophageal disorders. The management of thyroid disease is in flux," the authors write. "Monitoring current trends to adjust training and practice paradigms will ensure the long-term viability of the specialty."

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Posted: March 2018

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