ENTs and allergists are very specialized, and it can be hard to find others like you locally. For this reason, many professionals decide to join statewide or national organizations to interact with people in their field. Conferences and other events designed to allow you to collaborate can help improve your clinical skills and further your career at a faster pace. Here at Snot Force, we've decided to create such a network, but slightly differently.
In addition to providing you with valuable contacts, interesting opportunities for continued professional education, and the opportunity to collaborate in research with other specialists, we aim to make our events as entertaining as possible. You'll be exposed to new ideas and locations, all the while learning more about your profession. In such an environment, you can't help but thrive and make valuable connections.
What Are Medical Discussion Groups?
Working as an allergist and ENT can be difficult, particularly if you have your own practice and don't often collaborate with other professionals. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here at Snot Force, we aim to connect doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who specialize in sinus and airway issues, so that they can improve their practice and get to know others in the same profession.
Once you join, one of the primary ways you'll meet others is through our group meetups. Since our network already includes over 400 people from 37 different states, we can hold these regularly and in a wide variety of locations. Usually, the groups will focus on one specific topic or area of interest, although we will sometimes hold more general and informal meetings where you can network and speak about what currently concerns you.
How Can Being Part of an Organization Benefit You?
Now you know what happens at one of our groups, you might wonder why you should join and how this could benefit you and your practice. There are a number of reasons why joining forces with other professionals is a good idea, and undoubtedly you will already be part of other medical organizations. But Snot Force is different because we not only allow you to learn and get your CME credits, but we also aim to make the process fun.
Collaborate with Other Specialists
The primary reason why most people decide to sign up is that they would like to meet others in their field. Specializing in nose and sinus issues is a very niche endeavor, so you're unlikely to have a large number of colleagues in your local area. In fact, you may be the only person working on this problem in your town or your hospital, depending on the size and population density of your area.
That's why connecting with a local and national network of other nose specialists is so crucial. You will gain access to all their knowledge, insights, and experience, and you will also be able to share stories of your practice. Others working with noses will understand you in the way that your family, friends, and general doctors won't. What's more, you never know what professional opportunities you'll find out about through members of our community.
Learn About New Treatments
How we treat sinuses has changed dramatically in the past years, and the methods used aren't the same in all parts of the country. By finding out how other professionals in your field handle complex or unique cases, you can improve your own practice. At our Snot Force meetups, you won't only encounter doctors, but also other healthcare workers, people selling medical equipment, and researchers.
While talking to these professionals with various insights and backgrounds, you might find out about new methods you hadn't considered yet. What's more, you could gain access to products and medicines that are at the cutting edge and not yet being used by most doctors. In that way, you can further improve your reputation as a leader and innovator in your field.
Work Together in Research
Have you ever encountered an issue you couldn't solve, or do you have burning medical questions that are not yet answered? A number of researchers are a part of the Snot Force family, so you'll get to speak to people working on the most pressing issues. Depending on your personal experience, you may even be able to join them and work on a new treatment or discovery. The more people collaborate, the more quickly medicine will progress.
Get CME Credits
Every year, medical professionals need to do some continued education in order to stay relevant in their industry. Medicine advances quickly, and the ways nose and sinuses issues are treated change over time. For this reason, getting your Continuing Medical Education credits is key.
Fortunately, our Meeting Series is accredited and will count towards this requirement. We have developed this program in collaboration with Indiana University School of Medicine to provide you and your colleagues with an engaging educational resource that aims to improve the service you provide. To find out more and how you can get your credits, you can get in touch with us or fill out the CME registration form on our website.
Have Fun While Improving Yourself
There are many different discussion groups and professional organizations a nose doctor could join, but most of them are serious and focused solely on the work. We've decided to create something different because we believe that a community is stronger when all members enjoy being part of it and support the vision. Just because you work with snot on a daily basis doesn't mean that you can't have fun while learning more.
Many of our events, such as the KY Bourbon and Roses Sinus, Allergy, and Airway Symposium coming up this October, center around an engaging activity as well as the educational aspect. If you decide to attend the aforementioned symposium, you will get to explore bourbon distilleries in Kentucky and taste their products. At the same time, you'll learn about precision medicine in airway disease and meet other otolaryngologists, allergists, and pulmonologists.
How Can You Join the Snot Force?
Are you convinced yet? If so, there's an easy way to join online. Simply click on the "Join" link at the top of our webpage, which will take you to a short survey about your medical background and interest in sinus issues. At that time, you can also let us know what you hope to get out of the group, such as CMEs, collaboration, social media engagement, and promoting your business.
Once you've submitted this form, you can then expect us to get back to you as soon as possible with more information. If you have any additional questions in the meantime, you can read up about our events, our founders, and what to expect from us on the website.
As a nose and sinus doctor, you might not have many local specialists to collaborate with, so joining discussion groups is key. They can allow you to exchange ideas, collaborate, take part in innovative research programs, and get your CME credits. Get in touch with us now at Snot Force Alliance to sign up to one of our events or learn more about what we do. We'll be happy to connect you to hundreds of others working with sinuses, allergies, and airways.
Are you a healthcare provider looking to break free of your silo and meet new providers with similar interests? Or perhaps you want to explore different ways patient outcomes can be improved? Last but not least, do you need free CME credits but don't want to attend another boring class that doesn't engage your mind? The Snot Force Alliance, Inc., is your answer to all three of these concerns.
Get Free CME at Snot Force Alliance
First of all, we better explain our mission here at Snot Force. We recognize gaps in the diagnoses and therapies for nose, sinus, and airway conditions that keep patients from reaching their ideal quality of life. Although these gaps cannot be addressed by a single specialist, many of us collaborating as one can help overcome them. That's what we are: a group of specialists who bring other physicians together to:
Our Snot Force Alliance meeting series gives physicians the chance to enjoy camaraderie and earn free CME credits. The meetings we offer are planned and implemented in conjunction with Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). IUSM is accredited by the following councils to provide continuing education for healthcare providers:
How It Works
Each meeting is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Earning these credits is easy. Simply complete the CME Registration Form on our website and then complete the CME Check-In Form within 48 hours of each meeting you attend. We post information about our meetings online, and early registration is recommended.
The Importance of CME Credits
You likely already know CME credits are crucial for all healthcare providers, but as a refresher, we'd like to remind you why here. First and foremost, continuing your education allows you to discover new ways to improve upon patient care and effectively manage your career in a field that is ever-changing. Medicine does not stand still, and regardless of your scope of practice, CME can help you:
Refine Your Skills for Improved Patient Care
Every day, a new medical study is published or a new care technology is developed. These findings influence how patients with nose, sinus, and airway conditions should be assessed and treated. As a result, medical providers have a responsibility to their practice to stay on top of these changes. Doing so can provide patients with the most innovative care possible and stamp you as an expert in your field.
Advance Your Career
If you're looking to advance your career, free CME credits can help you do just that. Staying abreast of changes in healthcare builds your professional value, helps you further contribute to team goals, and demonstrates a proactive personality. Employers take note of these traits. You are likely to become a more integral staff member as facilities look to advance their reputations in a highly competitive landscape.
Meet Licensing/Certification Requirements
Many professional medical and healthcare organizations require members to continue their medical education as a condition of maintaining their membership status. These organizations typically ask members to submit proof of the CME events they've attended, which you can easily do after taking part in our meetings. This keeps you in good standing even as you network with providers from 37 different states.
Why Providers Need to Collaborate
Healthcare providers once functioned autonomously within the medical practice landscape. Each discipline went to school for their chosen specialty and remained immersed in a solitary perspective. But when providers can identify as part of a larger team, rather than practicing in a silo, healthcare significantly improves.
That is why medicine today embraces a more interprofessional approach. Physicians are expected to participate within multidisciplinary teams as patients present increasingly complex cases. And with a wide network of colleagues to call upon, you can efficiently find answers to difficult questions.
Enjoy New Ways to Network
Expanding your professional network is therefore an essential component of patient care. When you refocus your work and look through a lens of interprofessionalism, you can help reduce inefficiencies that often plague patient care. Assessments and treatments are done together so they become complementary rather than contradictive. Likewise, providers see a patient as a whole rather than a disjointed diagnosis or treatment relative to one ailment.
At Snot Force Alliance, we create enjoyable events that allow you to learn from and interact with other providers - without the pressures of a clinical environment. Our KY Bourbon + Roses symposium, for instance, lasts three days and includes a tour of Kentucky's bourbon distilleries in addition to discussions of precision medicine in airway disease. This is a collaborative effort between Cedars Sinai, Indiana University, and the University of Louisville.
Ignite Conversations and Hone Listening Skills
When you meet and network with other providers, you're able to share differences of opinion and learn new perspectives. Our meetings bring people together to explore ideas. This cannot be done in isolation.
Similarly, healthcare providers are at their most effective when they cultivate superior listening skills. Active listening conveys to patients and team members that what they're saying is important. This establishes a firm foundation of trust and builds teams that can address the multiple dimensions of a patient's condition.
Improve Creative Thinking
Networking events and CME meetings encourage providers to brainstorm with each other in ways that can lead to improved problem resolution. During these meetings, no issue is too big or too small to be discussed. As discussions continue to progress, providers often find themselves thinking with a new energy that can be brought back to the clinic or facility - and passed to other team members.
The Need to Address Healthcare Gaps
In respiratory medicine, as with other disciplines, gaps between established scientific evidence and actual care contribute to patient suffering. To illustrate, nearly 26 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, marking it as one of the country's most common and costly diseases. But around 74% of these patients are poorly controlled, leading to:
Evidence suggests that failure to assess asthma control is a significant contributor to the concerns listed above. This problem is compounded by patients with low expectations who fail to alert physicians when they don't feel well. Of course, this is only one of many major diseases that can affect the airways and sinuses. We haven't even touched upon COPD, chronic sinusitis, and more.
Routine Healthcare Concerns
The whole of healthcare experiences a number of gaps defined as discrepancies between recommended best practices and the care that is actually delivered. These gaps can manifest in different ways, with the most common including:
We mentioned earlier that just one of us cannot do much to overcome these gaps. But when we come together and brainstorm new ideas, implement new practices, and promote advanced research findings, we can help to ensure that all patients receive the care appropriate to their needs.
The Snot Force Alliance is a group of people who believe healthcare has made great strides but can still be improved in wonderful ways. We promote fun and friendly camaraderie and also offer CME events that educate and enlighten. To learn more, contact the Snot Force team today.
Snot Force Alliance hosted a webcast on postnasal drips last month: the Snot Force Assemble! Webcast Series: Thinking Beyond (or Below) Post-Nasal Drip: Laryngeal Contributions was an exciting, collaborative, case-based event hosted with guest panelists Benjamin Anthony, MD, Stacey Halum, MD, and Noah Parker, MD.
Be sure to follow our website and sign up to join us for any future webcasts here.
Your nasal and throat glands normally secrete mucus, which is swallowed without you noticing. However, when mucus thickens or builds up, it can cause postnasal drip and other unpleasant symptoms. This article explains the causes of postnasal drip and how to identify if you might have it.
Postnasal Drip: What Is It?
The mucus produced by your nasal membranes helps fight infection, filter foreign particles, and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs. There is about a quart or two of mucus produced each day by your nasal and throat glands, and it usually drains away all on its own. It drips down the back of your nose into your throat, mixes with saliva, and is swallowed without you even noticing.
A postnasal drip, however, can cause mucus to build up or thicken more than usual, resulting in an irritating feeling of mucus dripping down your throat.
Postnasal Drip: What Causes It?
Postnasal drip can be caused by:
Colds and flu, allergies, cold temperatures, bright lights, certain foods and spices, pregnancy, and hormonal changes may result in thin, clear secretions.
Several drugs such as birth control pills and high blood pressure medications and irregular nose cartilage can also lead to increased mucus production.
The thick secretions during winter are often due to dryness in heated environments. They can also be caused by sinus or nose infections, as well as allergies, particularly to dairy products. In the case of thick, green or yellow secretions, it is possible that a bacterial sinus infection is developing.
There are a number of conditions that may feel like postnasal drip but are actually swallowing problems caused by a backup of solids or liquids in the throat. These conditions include:
Diagnosis of Postnasal Drip
Examining the Body
Your physician will first check the back of your throat for any redness or swelling. They will inquire about other symptoms you might have (such as headaches, fever, chills, and muscle aches) that may indicate an infection. If you have a fever, your postnasal drip is probably caused by an infection.
Phlegm tinged with blood may indicate a gastrointestinal or pulmonary infection, which will require further evaluation.
Testing for Allergies
If your postnasal drip symptoms recur every few days or weeks and clear up between episodes, it could be due to an allergic reaction or sensitivity.
Your physician may advise you to keep a log of your symptoms, noting what you ate and what you were exposed to (such as pollen or pets). Allergy testing may help determine what the cause is.
A frequent or constant postnasal drip may indicate an anatomical cause, such as a sinusitis. You will need a physical examination and imaging tests to check for any variations that may be contributing to the symptoms.
If Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is suspected, interventional tests may be required. GERD may be diagnosed by tests such as direct laryngoscopy (examining the upper throat with a scope), 24-hour pH probe (testing for acid reflux), or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (examining the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine).
In the case of persistent postnasal drip, you should consult your healthcare provider. Snot Force Alliance performs research and brings specialists like ENTs, allergists, pulmonologists, and neurologists together for meetings to figure out how to treat patients. Registration is currently available via www.snotforce.org/meeting-series. Join the alliance today to learn more.