Douglas Backous, MD, Voted President-Elect for the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

  • Voted President-Elect by his colleagues
  • Serves as Proliance Surgeons Board Treasurer
  • Board-certified neurotologist specializing in treating conditions of the ear and skull base for 22 years
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The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery announces 2022 elections results


The 2022 election results are in, and our very own Douglas Backous, MD, was voted in as President-Elect for the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). We invite you to read Dr. Backous’ vision for the role, and how he plans to leverage his years of experience to best serve his colleagues and all our patients.

Dr. Backous’ vision for the role

With hard work, clear vision and bold leadership the AAO-HNS responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic by becoming an essential resource of information for otolaryngologists throughout the world. Our newly adopted strategic plan embraces key areas which will require all of us to truly come together as “one” to build an organization which empowers members to achieve our vision of excellence in ear, nose, and throat care. 

A renewed commitment to fostering physician health, wellness, and resiliency in our specialty goes hand-in-hand with creating more sustained opportunities for our colleagues from under-represented groups to thrive, lead and mentor future leaders. By building our understanding of the socioeconomic determinants which create care disparities, we as an academy can work more efficiently to ensure our clinical pathways and quality initiatives include metrics for removing barriers to equitable healthcare. We need more practicing physicians to advocate, on a grassroots and national level, for timely access to appropriate, cost-effective and evidence-informed care. We also deserve to be rewarded fairly for the work we do in an ever-changing and complex healthcare system. Business of medicine priorities and the creation of the private practice study group will stoke innovation and identify changes the academy can support to improve the working environment in private, employed and academic practice settings. Providing steady leadership, a sharp focus on adhering to the strategic plan, and an eye for continuous improvement of implementation strategies is my vision and is my motivation to serve. We have a great blueprint; we need to continue to execute and show results. 

What experience Dr. Backous brings to the role

I am a practicing neurotologist with special interest in value-based healthcare delivery. I completed the Executive Development Program at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in 2011 and received the ACS/AAO-HNS Health Policy Scholarship at Brandeis University in 2021. I completed four years as a member-at-large, private practice, with the academy in 2021. I held leadership positions in a multispecialty group, a hospital-based practice model and now in private practice. I currently serve on the 3-P committee for the AAO-HNS and continue to work with my congressional representatives to support otolaryngology and the house of medicine at-large. I am passionate about inclusive diversity, have great respect for the women in leadership in our academy, and want to create opportunities to identify new members who will rise into leadership positions. 

Looking forward

Building on the great work of past presidents, engaging our specialty societies along with members from the BOG, YPO, WIO and others requires curiosity, patience, humility, respect, and the ability to find joy in watching others succeed. I have great confidence in our academy administrative team led by Dr. James Denneny and look forward to engaging with his succession planning process. I believe the president should know when to engage the CEO and when to step back and let his staff do their jobs. 

I am passionate about our academy and believe we could create much needed and sustained change in our world. I believe being president of the AAO-HNS is an awesome opportunity to serve my colleagues and all our patients. 

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