Valedictory - Why pediatric otorhinolaryngology is important

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The importance of the care given by the pediatric otolaryngologist to the individual child encompasses the traditional purposes of medicine. This field has its special focus on interventions that preserve, restore and/or otherwise improve hearing, speech, voice, gustation, olfaction, deglutition, respiration, appearances, etc. The value-added dimension of pediatric otolaryngology is of essential importance because it enhances communication-language - through the vehicles of hearing, voice, and speech. This critical role is manifest in two ways. The first relates to the economic bases of society. Comparison of the consequences of communications disorders in three different countries ranging, currently, from one very highly dependent upon communication skills (The Netherlands), to one highly dependent upon communication skills (the United States), to a developing nation less dependent upon communication skills (the Philippines) is presented. All three nations are adversely affected economically and socially by communication disorders. It is estimated that the United States loses between 2.5 and 3% of its gross domestic product from the economic sequel of communication disorders. It also appears that communication disorders contribute to crime, since the prevalence of communication disorders is many times greater in populations of juvenile delinquents than in the general population. Communication disorders may act synergistically with diminished economic and social resources and other factors in the causes of violent behavior and crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S53-S61
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Communication disorders
  • Crime
  • Economics
  • Gross domestic product
  • Hearing
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Language
  • Netherlands
  • Philippines
  • Population growth
  • Speech
  • Underemployment
  • Unemployment
  • United States
  • Voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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