Position Statement

The American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS), American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO‐HNS) and the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO) are committed to the highest standards of otolaryngologic care for pediatric patients.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery training requirements include pediatric otolaryngology in the definition and scope of training in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. ABOHNS diplomates obtain primary certification after completing accredited training, and successfully passing a written qualifying and an oral certifying examination. One of the core areas that is comprehensively assessed during the primary certification process for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is the evaluation and management of pediatric patients with otolaryngologic disease. Pediatric otolaryngology is also included in the ABOHNS Continuing Certification process. The evaluation and management of pediatric otolaryngology patients are within the scope of practice of diplomates of the ABOHNS board certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. In fact, Pediatric Otolaryngology is explicitly stated on the primary certificate.

Complex Pediatric Otolaryngology (CPO) is the compendium of medical knowledge and care for: a) children with complex otolaryngologic disorders, and/or b) common otolaryngologic disorders in children with complex comorbidities. A key tenet of CPO is that these children are, on many occasions, better suited for medical or surgical care in tertiary pediatric facilities within inter‐disciplinary teams.

Subcertification in CPO recognizes diplomates that complete additional training, successfully demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills beyond primary certification, and validate an ongoing clinical practice within the subspecialty. The criteria that define CPO clinical practice include practice setting, case types, and participation in multidisciplinary activities. Subcertification in CPO is not necessary for the evaluation and management of all children with otolaryngologic disease since the majority of pediatric patients can be treated by ABOHNS diplomates with primary certification in Otolaryngology‐Head and Neck Surgery. Development of CPO subcertification by the ABOHNS has been a collaborative process with input from the AAO‐HNS and ASPO over several years, from which this statement is drawn.

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