In last year's CONTEMPO issue of JAMA,1 I presented a general review of some of the advances in otorhinolaryngology during the past 25 years. This year I propose to touch on some recent developments that have had great impact on the specialty and that, in turn, offer promise for better health care for patients with problems concerning the ear, nose, throat, head and neck, and communicative disorders.
Shortly after World War II, the number of physicians entering the specialty of otorhinolaryngology declined. This led to concern, not only among the leaders in the field, but also among those in medicine generally, that there would soon be an acute shortage of qualified specialists. Consequently, early in the 1950s, with support from the National Institutes of Health and specifically from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (later to become the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders