Approximately six weeks of my life have been spent most productively and enjoyably, in acquiring new knowledge, teaching, and enjoying social interactions with colleagues from throughout the world. This six week period was the approximate time that I had spent attending ten midwinter meetings of the ARO. The ARO midwinter meeting has offered the ability to concentrate solely on the science of otorhinolaryngology, and not to have to be concerned with clinical categorical imperatives. This, for an active clinician, is a rare and much appreciated privilege.
The ARO midwinter meeting has become one of the premiere scientific meetings for all of otolaryngology. Its importance has not changed the nature of the meeting, nor has it interfered with the most valuable precept of the event, which has been the time spent eating boiled shrimp with an appropriate lubricant whilst discussing any number of otolaryngic scientific agenda. One must also remember the very significant structured symposia which have added so much to our intellectual development and enjoyment.
During the last ten years, there have been very many gratifications. Some of these include the increase in the number of papers (the quality has always been excellent), the first poster sessions, which have now become an essential feature of the meeting, and perhaps most of all the development of our science and scientists. Are those who are giving their first paper, the most important group at any meeting? There have been very many of these who have followed with numerous papers, and then participated in symposia. The body of science and the number of scientists continue to grow and continues to push back ignorance.
The ARO midwinter meeting has been, is, and should continue to succeed in the exchange of scientific information in a collegial manner. Those attending their first mid-winter meeting have only pleasantness to look forward to. Those who have been here before, have had the pleasantness of both memory and anticipation. The ARO midwinter meeting has succeeded and serves its science well. I very much wish to thank the original organizers for this useful and pleasant tradition which has enriched all our lives.
Robert J. Ruben, M.D.