The triological society 2011 presidential address


  • Gerald S. Berke MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Head and Neck Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
    • UCLA Division of Head and Neck Surgery, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Room 62-132- CHS, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1624
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  • This paper was presented at the 2011 Triological Society Combined Sections Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A., January 27–29, 2011.

  • The author has no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.


The Triological Society 2011 Presidential Address was presented at The Triological Society's 2011 Combined Sections Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, Thursday January 27–29, 2011, by Gerald Berke, MD. The address captures the president's inspiration for the annual address as the past, present, and future of otolaryngology. A review of the financing and economics of health care in the United States over time is presented, and the future of health care with reference to otolaryngology is discussed. The address focused on the percentage increase in gross domestic product assigned to medical care in the United States owing to the emergence, adoption, and widespread diffusion of new medical technologies and services. It showed that a significant proportion of the expense goes to hospitals and physician/clinical services. It refuted many of the current criticisms of medical care in the United States, pointing out that neonatal death rates in the United States include all gestational ages, but many countries only use full-term births in their statistics; also, longevity is excellent when deaths due to motor vehicle accidents and homicides are adjusted. Furthermore, survival rates for common malignancies and myocardial infarctions are better in the United States than in many countries. The address related the president's memories of medical care in the United States as an intern and young resident. It went on to discuss the concept of treating diseased organs ex vivo and reimplanting them without systemic side effects within the next 25 years but cautioned that future medical advances may be moderated by a reliance on evidence-based studies before new technologies can be adopted. Finally, it emphasized physician's altruistic motivations for choosing this profession despite future economic realities in coming years.