The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) realizes that our country is currently in the midst of a crisis and potentially at a crossroads. The recent current events have placed a spotlight on the racial injustice in our country and made us all question why we as a nation have tolerated the disregard for a human life solely based on our differences. Our Academy is speaking out to denounce the individuals, elements, and institutions in our society that perpetuate the racism, social injustice, and disparities that exist.
We empathize and support our members who have been and continue to be subjected to this unfortunate divide. We stand together to do our part as leaders in our local, state, and national communities to highlight the need for change, initiate the dialogue, and work toward peaceful change. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the disproportionate impact on our minority communities with limited access and greater mortalities, we are also faced with the more obvious blight on our society—of hatred, discrimination, and bigotry. We as leaders in our community have the potential to demand change. We will continue to support our programs to promote diversity and inclusion, educate our members regarding cultural sensitivity and implicit bias, and seek ways on how we can be a part of the solution to change these destructive narratives threatening to undermine our country.
The AAO-HNS remains committed to providing the best care for all patients regardless of ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or social status and advocating for equal access and treatment for all people. We are one.
Duane J. Taylor, MD