One of the many intriguing things about life in Alexandria is Old Town's assortment of highly specialized trade associations. One of these is the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS).
Ear Nose and Throat treatment and management is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. This specialty is practiced by otolaryngologists (pronounced oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jists)---also known more commonly as "ear, nose and throat doctors". ENT physicians manage and treat patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck. Counting more than twelve thousand otolaryngolosist as members, the AAO-HNS is the world's largest organization representing otolaryngologists.
The Otolaryngology Historical Society, a section of the AAO-HNS, was founded and dedicated to preserve the history of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. This society is dedicated to the history of otolaryngology and to achieve that mission the society manages and administers the John Q. Adams Center for the History of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Found on Prince St. in Old Town, the Adams Center has extensive library, archival, and museum collections to provide educational for the public and professionals alike. The center's collections chronicle and preserve the history of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in the United States and Europe. One of the highpoints of the collection is the Rosalind N. and David Myers Hearing Aid Collection---a renown collection of ear-horns and an earpieces dating back to the earliest days of the specialty. The center also is home to many surgical instruments relating to medical procedures of the ear, nose, and throat as well as medical illustrations from the 17th and 18th century.
These and other artifacts, artwork and papers rotate regularly. The center is not just for eductional purposes but is also available for historical research. Rare books and manuscripts are collected here for that purpose but collected items that are in storage are available only by appointment.
The location is easily accessed via the King St. Metro. Parking in Old Town is sometimes tricky, but is available.
American Academy of Otolaryngology
One Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Open: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.