Women in Otolaryngology

Dedicated to assisting the career development of women otolaryngologists

With over 2,000 members, the Section provides opportunities for leadership, education, networking and mentoring. WIO celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding in 2020. Learn more about WIO’s origins in the historic documentary “Four Days in Boston” by watching the video below.

WIO Logo


Current Practice Paradigms of Otolaryngology

Gain insights into the variety of practice opportunities and employment models currently available to Otolaryngologist Physicians in 2023. The pros and cons of these models including those in Independent Private Practice, Employed Physician and Academic Practice will be presented. Representative challenges faced in each of these environments, the opportunities available when transitioning between models and some key lessons learned will be discussed.

WIO Endowment Grants

The Women in Otolaryngology (WIO) Endowment was established in 2010 to provide a perpetual stream of funding, via grants, for projects that support actionable research and/or projects that are designed to benefit the professional development of women in otolaryngology. A grant budget of approximately $20,000 is established for each fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Individual grant awards average $1,000-$5,000.

Featured Videos

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.

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.

This exhibit showcases the impact women have made, beginning as far back as the late 1800s and continuing through today. Their stories, photographs, and artifacts are a living testament to the significant contributions women have made and continue to make to the specialty.

Optimizing Physical Health and Navigating the Fertility World as a Young Physician in a Demanding Job

This webinar includes pregnancy timing challenges, and the impact of occupational hazards, stress, and anxiety. Questions of how long to wait before considering fertility treatment, the most commonly faced infertility issues in women surgeons, the similarities and differences between medical therapies and more “invasive” therapies, and how these treatments fit into the lifestyle of a busy surgeon are discussed.

Contract Review and Negotiation for Women Physicians

Co-hosted by WIO, YPS, and Resolve, a national firm specializing in physician employment contracts, webinar topics include contract terms which may specifically impact women physicians (pregnancy accommodations, maternity leave, part-time employment, the impact on RVU’s, ergonomic equipment).

Join the Conversation on ENT Connect

2023- 2024 WIO Governing Council

Chair: Yelizaveta (Lisa) Shnayder, MD

Chair-Elect: Valerie A. Flanary, MD

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

Member-at-Large (2-year term): Reena Dhanda Patil, MD

Information Officer (2-year term): Meha G. Fox, MD

Member-at-Large (2-year term): Amy Y. Chen, MD, MPH, FACE


  • 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
  • Write an article for the monthly news magazine, the Bulletin on an issue important to women otolaryngologists and the specialty
  • Participate in local, state, and federal advocacy initiatives that are of unique or of special interest to women
AAO-HNSF 2024 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO Early Registration Ends July 31Learn More