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Q & A with Dr. Daniela Carvahlo–President Elect of SENTAC

carvalho-daniela.jpegWe are pleased to announce that Daniela Carvalho, MD, MMM, has been elected to the role of President-Elect of SENTAC (Society for Ear, Nose and Throat Advancement in Children). SENTAC is the oldest pediatric ENT Society in the world (founded in 1973). Its members were and continue to be otolaryngologists, pediatricians, surgeons, pediatric otolaryngologists, speech pathologists, audiologists, nurses, and basic scientists – in fact all of those who are interested in enhancing the care of children with acquired or congenital disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. SENTAC continues to be an interdisciplinary forum for new ideas; it is one of the few medical societies in which membership is determined solely by interest, not by professional association, facilitating the successful interchange of information between many different professional and lay groups.

Q: How did you get involved in SENTAC and how has it served you through your career?
There are two pediatric otolaryngology societies in the United States: SENTAC (Society for Ear, Nose and Throat Advancement in Children) and ASPO. I became a SENTAC member in 2004, but have attended and presented at SENTAC annual meetings since I was a fellow in 1999. I remember that I met Dr. Sylvan Stool (one of the fathers of pediatric ENT) during that meeting. He took the time to talk to me about being a successful pediatric ENT and gave wonderful advice for my career. The collegiality of our society encourages young trainees to present and become part of discussions with very seasoned and renowned members. It is a career-building organization.

Q: What is the mission, in your own words, of SENTAC?
The mission of SENTAC is to be a collaborative platform for discussion of new ideas, research and cooperation among multiple specialists, with the goal to improve and advance the care in pediatric ENT.

Q: What do you envision for your term as President, and how long is the term?
The president’s term is one year, but as president-elect I am already supporting the current president in “remodeling” our society. With the pandemic we had to convert our annual meeting to virtual, and this was extremely successful. For this reason we have decided to run hybrid meetings from now on. We are also promoting virtual webinars and expanding other educational resources to our members.

My goal as president is to increase the international footprint of SENTAC, so we can help specialists from other countries overcome local barriers and develop multidisciplinary teams to care for pediatric ENT patients. I will also be responsible, as the past-president, for the 2023 annual meeting program and planning. I am looking forward to that as well!

Q: If you were to rent a huge billboard for SENTAC, what would it say?
SENTAC joins professionals from different areas in an extraordinarily collegial society that brings cutting-edge research and introduces you to a community that will help you throughout your career.

Q: How has participation in such an organization changed your clinical practice?
Learning different approaches to the same problem from different professionals’ points of view has helped me become a more versed and comprehensive clinician.

Q: What other skills or benefits have you derived from your work with SENTAC?
Becoming part of a large and strong network of professionals has helped my career in several ways. Within SENTAC I started participating as a member of the liaison committee, then became the chair of that committee, later becoming Secretary and now President-Elect of SENTAC. It is an honor to be part of such a vibrant and active society.