About the International Society for Otitis Media

The International Society for Otitis Media is a non-profit organization that provides an international forum to advance the frontiers of research, education, and patient care as they relate to otitis media.  The Society will achieve this mission by (a) disseminating information about otitis media, (b) supporting, coordinating, and enhancing efforts to improve communication and collaboration among Society Members, related disciplines, and related societies, (c) facilitating otitis media research by creating and exchanging knowledge, and (d) sponsoring meetings at which those interested in otitis media can present new research, identify research needs, and work collaboratively to promote optimal clinical management.

Joseph E. Kerschner, MD


Welcome to the President’s Message for the International Society for Otitis Media (ISOM)!


I couldn’t be more thrilled to be serving you as President of this wonderful, growing and strengthening organization. We are moving forward off of a terrific meeting in Australia, and my congratulations go out to our colleagues there – Dr. Allen Cripps and his wonderful team – for putting together an informative and inspiring Program.


ISOM has truly transitioned from an idea to a full-fledged academic organization supporting those interested in the field of otitis media (OM). Some of you who have been “around awhile” so I appreciate the magnitude of this transition. But for those of you who are newer, and to ensure that all understand the importance of this transition, let me offer a few additional lines of commentary on this topic. The early “founders” who created a forum and Symposium that would support the idea of sharing clinical and research advances in OM (an idea that started back in 1970s) truly deserve the credit for bringing together those of us with a passion for finding cures and solutions for this prevalent and expensive disease – which has such a profound impact on many children. More on this history can be found on our website: http://www.otitismediasociety.org/genesisandhistory.html


Although they were outstanding, these Symposia to share ideas needed to evolve through generational changes and to grow and preserve the vibrancy of a group of clinicians and scientists dedicated to OM. A Society was needed to provide, among other things: governance and dialogue around the selection of meetings; succession of leadership; dissemination of ideas; innovation in creating Programs; creation of value for members that would sustain dues for the health of the organization; Programs to encourage and attract additional young clinicians and scientists; and structure to enhance submission of grants to the NIH to support the scientific progression of the meetings and to provide additional support to push forward our field.


This work has now been accomplished, and I have been privileged to participate with extremely dedicated individuals in working to make this a reality. As the Founding Secretary of the Society, I was able to interface with the formation of the initial Bylaws by Drs. Rosenfeld and Ruben, as well as solidification of our governance structure and transitions of the Society (from an idea to a reality). We are all indebted to the wonderful leaders of our first two Presidents, Drs. Rosenfeld and Sih, who led in those early days as the Society moved forward toward success. We also are indebted to all of the leaders on the Executive Committee and Board and Committee Chairs who have similarly invested their time and talents to nurture those early seeds of formation to a vibrant organization poised for future successes and accomplishments.

The leaders of the organization (along with a wonderful picture from Australia!) can be further found on our website: http://www.otitismediasociety.org/boardofdirectors.html



As the third President of ISOM, I look forward to working closely with Drs. Casselbrant as Treasurer and Bhutta as Secretary to carry forward additional progress for ISOM. My goals for the upcoming year include many preparations for the next International Symposium (June 9-13, 2019 in Hollywood, California). Dr. Bakaletz, who has been a leader in ISOM before we were ISOM, will be the Symposium Co-Chair with me, and Dr. Mason will be the Program Chair. Although almost two years away, many preparations are already beginning to ensure an amazing meeting. It is not too early to make sure your calendars are cleared for this meeting to allow for your attendance. One of the most innovative aspects of this meeting in 2019 will be that the “Research Symposium,” which always followed the Program, will be fully embedded into the 2019 Program so that all members and attendees can not only benefit, but also participate in this process.


This is sure to add robustness to our meeting and discussions that are needed to help move our field forward.


For additional details, please see our website: http://www.otitismediasociety.org/2019-symposium.html


I will finish my Presidential message to you with a theme that will populate all of my messages:  if you care about OM, get involved! Ask what you can do to be part of a Committee or to add to the Program. Submit your best scientific work to our meetings and make sure that you not only attend, but that you invite your research and clinical colleagues to attend. Get them to reserve a space on their calendar now! And by all means, please keep paying your dues in a timely fashion. Although ISOM has made this momentous transition to a vibrant Society, it will not continue this vibrancy without true involvement and support by its members and successful efforts by ALL members to support and grow ISOM. I look forward to serving you over the next two years; please don’t hesitate to contact me at jkerschner@mcw.edu if there is anything I can do for you.


Warmest regards,


Joseph E. Kerschner, MD

ISOM President

Provost and Executive Vice President

Dean, School of Medicine

Professor of Otolaryngology, Microbiology and Immunology

Medical College of Wisconsin


Genesis - History


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