About IFOS 2023

The International Federation of ORL Societies (IFOS), is a non-political organization representing 50,000 Otolaryngologists belonging to about 120 member nations. There is a huge global discrepancy in available resources and manpower and this greatly modulates our activity.

IFOS was founded in 1965 to provide continuity between World Congresses, it has evolved to deal on a global basis with the problems of people with ORL disease by means of an active secretariat and committee structure; lobbying the World Health Organization; a leader in the global program for hearing loss prevention; providing interchange between centers, especially in Europe through the Twin Cities Project; publishing a newsletter and maintaining the interactive website. It has a continuing medical educational role and has developed a model undergraduate curricula; it has now initiated CME conferences between World Congresses and recently started the Worldwide Action "Hearing for All".

Interested in becoming a member or learning more about IFOS? Click here.

Mission Statement

To identify critical global ORL care needs and communication disorders, to propose ways to prevent and treat individuals with them and to set priorities among these needs according to their impact on society

History of IFOS

The International Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies (IFOS) is the global organization which represents organized Otolaryngology. It was founded in 1965 during the Tokyo World Congress of Otolaryngology to provide continuity between World Congresses. It grew in response to the need for a single body to collate information about national ORL societies.

From the start the membership of IFOS was open to any national ORL society. This remains the case today as long as the country is recognized by the United Nations. Nations with more than 1 national society may have more than 1 member although each country has only 1 vote at the General Assembly. Membership is also open to international societies in otolaryngology and related fields.

IFOS is governed by a General Assembly which meets once every 4 years, during the world congress at which time it selects the site for the next meeting and elects an Executive Committee which deals with the business of IFOS between world congresses. The Executive Committee currently is composed of 18 members who are elected for a 4 year term, renewable once only, and of whom at least two must be from each of the following continents or regions: Africa and the Middle East, Central and South America, East Asia, North America, and South and West Asia, at least four from Europe and at least one from Oceania.

Six Regional Secretaries will be elected by the Executive Committee and shall assist the General Secretary, to whom they are responsible, and work in cooperation with the Members of the Executive Committee from their Region.

Functions of IFOS:
  • Responsible for the World Congress every four years
  • To provide an overview of otolaryngological services and needs on a global basis. These vary from country to country and region to region.
  • Lobby with international agencies both on behalf of those who require treatment of ORL disease and are providing services to these people.
  • Help in developing national and international plans and awareness for the prevention of hearing loss and hearing impairment.
  • Continuing medical education
  • Greater central resources