EAONO 2014: Bringing the otology world together

Hundreds of specialists in otology and neuro-otology and members of the European Academy of Otology and Neuro-otology (EAONO) met in Tuscany, Italy, in mid-September for the 7th scientific and technical Instructional Workshop. A highly successful event organized by the current President of the Academy, Franco Trabalzini. Here is our report.

No doubt a truly exciting moment for the members of the European Academy of Otology and Neuro-otology from a wide range of countries to find themselves at the medieval heart of one of Italy’s most culturally and historically rich cities for the 7th edition of the Instructional Workshop of the EAONO, held from September 13 to 16, 2014 in Siena. The President and organizers of the event, Franco Trabalzini, offered a very special moment to the participants showcasing some of Siena’s marvels: starting from the majestic Piazza del Campo with its famous tower, the Torre del Mangia, on a warm and colorful late summer afternoon, with the official opening and the concert by the band of the Carabinieri corps in the historical Teatro dei Rinnovati, and ending with a welcome cocktail in the studding setting of the courtyard of the Palazzo Pubblico. No details were missed either, with a special gift given to each participant: a print of the historic Il Palio horse race held each year in the city, depicting Our Lady in a gold robe and showing the grand squares and architecture of the city, the rights to which were granted by the Siena district of Contrada Capitana dell’Onda for the occasion.

The 7th Instructional Workshop of the European Academy of Otology and Neuro-Otology officially got underway in the lecture halls of the Medical School of Siena University, at the Santa Maria alle Scotte Polytechnic located on a hill just outside the city walls. This was the setting for high-level international experts to discuss the areas of implants, audiovestibular medicine, diagnostics and therapeutics, covering hearing and rehabilitation, hearing loss and neuroplasticity at various ages, and talking in detail about field research, clinical trials, and future directions. New technologies were also given prime position thanks to the presence of the most important manufacturers and distributors of medical equipment and devices, leading hearing solutions, and providers of services for specialist physicians and patients. Also as part of the meeting, the members of the EAONO discussed final recommendations on auditory implants and middle ear surgery, agreed upon at the European level, and that now constitute the current official guidelines of the organization in the area of otology and neuro-otology.

A highly successful interactive event

In terms of scientific content, the numbers speak for themselves: EAONO 2014 included over 500 specialists from all over the world with a rich training program made up of 118 training sessions, 23 round tables, and about 60 communications and posters. For the first time in the history of the European Academy of Otology and Neuro-otology, five guest countries from outside Europe were represented in Siena and shared their scientific and medical experience with the participants: Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, and Russia. The training congress obtained 15 European Union ECMEC credits for professional certification.