- Category: Profiles
- Issue: Apr 2014
Med School/Year Graduated: Wake Forest University, 1992
Years in Practice: 16
Who or what inspired you to become an ear, nose and throat doc?
I love people, and I love the senses. Having an opportunity to restore hearing, smell, taste and balance is second to none.
Do you advocate preemptive tonsil removal for teens and young adults?
Tonsillectomy may be considered for patients with recurring infection, recurring tonsilith (tonsil “stone”) formation, or sleep apnea. Routine prophylactic removal of the tonsils is rarely indicated.
What are the most common procedures you perform?
Thyroid surgery, hearing restoration surgery, surgery to correct nasal obstruction or sinusitis, head and neck cancer surgery, and pediatric ENT surgery.
What’s the most unusual condition you’ve treated?
I had the privilege of restoring the voice of a woman who severed her vocal cord nerves in a snowmobiling clothesline accident years earlier. Having never before heard her voice, her husband cried when she spoke for the first time.
Do you often treat patients for job-related hearing loss? If so, which industries do they typically work in?
It is not uncommon to treat hearing loss related to acoustic trauma. Fortunately, OSHA regulations and hearing protection devices have greatly reduced this over the past decade.
Can obstructive sleep apnea correction save a marriage?
It can save a life (… and a marriage).
“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be...”
What are the biggest misconceptions about your field?
The term “ENT” is actually a misnomer. It was adopted decades ago because “otolaryngology” was just too hard to say. Otolaryngologists are actually head and neck surgeons, and treat most disease processes above the clavicles.