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Leveraging COVID-19–Inspired Changes to Advance Otolaryngology—Here to Stay

Educational Objective
To understand how COVID-19 inspired changes will affect advance otolaryngology in the future
1 Credit CME

Beyond any doubt, it is clear that the worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has rattled the sphere of health care in an unprecedented manner. Physicians, other clinicians, and leaders of health care institutions have been thrust into previously unfathomable situations in which the urgent needs of patients are deferred, clinicians are at risk of acute disease and even death, and non–COVID-19–related clinical operations are reduced substantially. Still, amid the scrambling to adjust to a new reality, the idiom “necessity is the mother of invention” rings true. We see this in newly (and quickly) developed strategies for distance or virtual learning, mask production, and the new concept of social distancing. It is our belief that many of the changes and breakthroughs that have been made under duress during the COVID-19 pandemic will persist long after the outbreak has waned, thereby resulting in positive long-term change in many aspects of the practice of medicine. We must also remember that the current COVID-19 crisis is unlikely to be the last infectious disease epidemic or pandemic. Therefore, our ability to have systems in place that allow both in-crisis and non-crisis modes of functionality is critical.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Samir S. Khariwala, MD, MS, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St SE, MMC 396, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (khari001@umn.edu).

Published Online: April 28, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.1188

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr McCoul reported receiving personal fees from Stryker Corporation. Dr Graboyes reported receiving grants from the National Cancer Institute and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Dr Tunkel reported receiving consulting fees from Hitachi Chemical Co. No other disclosures were reported.

Additional Information: The authors are editors or editorial board members of JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.

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