Women in Otolaryngology

The WIO Section is dedicated to assisting the career development of women otolaryngologists and those considering careers in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. With over 2,000 members, the Section provides ample opportunities for networking and mentoring. During the AAO-HNSF 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting & OTO Experience, WIO celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding. Learn more about WIO’s origins in the historic documentary “Four Days in Boston” by watching the video below.

WIO Logo
WIO Roundtable
WIO General Assembly
WIO Workshop

Four Days in Boston: A History of the AAO-HNS Section for Women in Otolaryngology (WIO)

Hear inspiring stories from women in the ENT specialty dating back to the early 1970s. These pioneers had a vision 10 years ago to create the WIO Section and Endowment which has fostered positive change and growth throughout the specialty.

History of Women in Otolaryngology Exhibition

The AAO-HNS is proud to release a new collection of artifacts and a historic video timeline showcasing the significant impact women have made in the specialty. Thank you to the many women who shared their stories, contributed pictures and memorabilia, and dedicated their lives to the advancement of the specialty, their colleagues, and their patients.

Join the Conversation on ENT Connect

WIO Governing Council

Chair: Jamie Litvack, MD

Chair-Elect: Priya Krishna, MD

Immediate Past Chair (1-year term): Angela Powell, MD

Information Officer/Secretary (2-year term): Megan Durr, MD

Member-at-Large (2-year term): Minka Schofield, MD

Member-at-Large (2-year term): Sarah Powell, MD

Financial Officer (3-year term): Kelly M. Malloy, MD


  • Enhance the careers of women otolaryngologists through the creation of professional development, mentoring, and networking programs and through the promotion of leadership opportunities within the AAO-HNS/F
  • Enhance the appeal of otolaryngology for women residents by strengthening and encouraging their leadership role in the Section for Residents and Fellows-in-Training (SRF); improving their voice in issues unique to training programs and by promoting effective, efficient, and diverse career opportunities
  • Encourage young women in high school, college, and medical school to pursue a career in otolaryngology
  • Collaborate with AAO-HNS/F committees to enhance member engagement, foster leadership development, and by engaging the energy of this membership segment

The WIO Section functions as an advisory body to the Boards of Directors (BOD) of the AAO-HNS/F to:

  • Fully use the resources and talents of the women in otolaryngology
  • Support women otolaryngologists by identifying and addressing their needs, fostering their development, and cultivating women as leaders in the specialty
  • Facilitate communication on issues of interest to and about women in the field of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and in medicine
  • Make recommendations about programs and policies of particular interest to women in otolaryngology
  • Support the specialty of otolaryngology, clinical and academic excellence, education outreach, and the medical profession by promoting diversity, and recognizing and utilizing the unique value of all perspectives of the specialty
  • Involve more women otolaryngologists, assist them to develop and enhance their careers, and engage their expertise to further the specialty
  • Offer leadership training and mentoring opportunities
  • Prioritize the use of the WIO Endowment Fund

Membership in the WIO

Who are our members?
The Section for WIO is composed of all women who are active members of the Academy. All other members of the Academy are welcome to communicate with and participate in any open meetings of the section and its committees, but may not vote or serve in any official capacity.

Governance of the WIO
The Section is governed by the Women in Otolaryngology Governing Council (GC). The WIO GC is comprised of the WIO chair, chair-elect, immediate past chair, information officer, financial officer, and two members-at-large.

For more information, contact [email protected]


  • Developing communications to inform AAO-HNS members of WIO activities and initiatives
  • Ensuring that relevant items of interest are submitted to relevant AAO-HNS publications


  • Per the AAO-HNSF Women in Otolaryngology Endowment Fund Charter, responsible for developing, overseeing, and implementing fundraising strategies and programs to maintain and increase the Endowment

Leadership Development and Mentorship

  • Actively works towards establishing and maintaining a meaningful and effective mentorship program for women in the AAO-HNS
  • Identifying and implementing ways in which we can best provide leadership skills training, experience, and opportunities for the ongoing development of outstanding new women otolaryngologist leaders, both at AAO-HNS and in the medical profession at large

Program and Awards

  • Developing, proposing, and delivering high quality programming with broad appeal for the Annual Meeting
  • In conjunction with the GC, planning and conducting the annual WIO General Assembly Section meeting
  • Identifying women otolaryngologists who deserve recognition for their accomplishments
  • Identifying and recognizing the efforts of individuals who work to promote the efforts of WIO
  • Identifying and implementing new ways in which to recognize outstanding women in AAO-HNS
  • The section established the Helen F. Krause, MD Trailblazer Award to recognize an individual who through scholarship, advocacy, leadership and/or mentorship has furthered the interests of women in the field of otolaryngology
  • This section also established the Exemplary Senior Trainee Award to recognize an outstanding female senior resident or fellow in an O-HNS training program

Research and Survey

  • Ongoing evaluation, monitoring, and reporting of priorities and issues identified as important by women AAO-HNS members
  • Doing more to study the status of women otolaryngologists

Benefits of Section Membership

The WIO Section offers women otolaryngologists many opportunities to strengthen their professional support system and skills through networking events, professional development, and mentoring programs. In addition, membership and active involvement in the Section provides a training ground for developing leadership skills and understanding the governance structure and other avenues to engagement opportunities within the AAO-HNSF.

Professional Development and Outreach

  • Present to lay public, primary care and specialist physicians, allied health professionals, students, or patients about otolaryngology-head and neck surgery
  • Serve as a media contact (including writing articles for local/national news media)
  • Participate in AAO-HNS media and public relations campaigns, e.g., Kids ENT Health, Otolaryngology Health and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHNCAW), etc.


  • Attend the General Assembly Meeting and WIO Committee Meetings at the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO Experience
  • Attend WIO-sponsored Annual Meeting panel presentations and committee meetings

Want to Make a Difference?

  • Run for an elected office! The candidate application process is open and will close on July 5


  • Attend the Annual Meeting educational sessions and Panel Presentations on physician payment and coverage issues
  • Attend the CPT/Relative value committee meeting at Annual Meeting
  • Fill out a RUC survey for the AMA’s Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) for otolaryngology procedures you perform
  • Write an article for the monthly news magazine, the Bulletin on an issue important to women otolaryngologists and the specialty
  • Receive the Health Policy Update e-newsletter and provide input on issues that directly impact you and your patients
  • Participate in local, state, and federal advocacy initiatives that are of unique or of special interest to women
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