Photo by Sura Nualpradid

The American Academy of Otolaryngology­­­-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) promotes humanitarian efforts by providing domestic and international patient care, preventative medicine, and education.

As individuals, Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists volunteer their time for disaster relief efforts in areas  both domestically and abroad. AAO-HNSF specifically supported the relief effort in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, but beyond that, many individuals donate their time every year to providing care for those living in disaster-affected zones, where the need is high and access to medical care can be greatly depleted.

Day-to-day ear, nose, and throat medical attention can also be difficult to come by for those living in impoverished areas. In the United States, there are plenty of inner-city and rural clinics that are understaffed and using outdated methods. Abroad, medical supplies and proper care can be difficult to come by. ENT doctors can donate their expertise by teaching other doctors about new procedures and providing critical care as well as check-ups and preventative procedures to those living in the area. Research missions are also conducted to find out more about the scope and type of ENT diseases in developing countries so additional resources and aid can be provided when necessary.

Many ENTs who volunteer their time find it a very rewarding experience. Those who have second and third language skills can apply their knowledge of medicine in a direct and useful way by getting to know the local physicians and population. And, of course, volunteering isn’t just a one-way street. Patients and local doctors in developing countries often have new perspectives and a greater sense of hope than ENTs may find at their home practice. Volunteering time and resources offers a more well-rounded worldview and the ability to help people who are in real need.

For more information or to donate to the efforts of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, please click here.