The UofL Board of Trustees approved action in furthering that goal May 14 by establishing the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders, elevating the program from two divisions within the Department of Surgery.

Otolaryngology – also sometimes known as otorhinolaryngology – is the oldest medical specialty in the United States, according to the American Association of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT) and related structures of the head and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders is one of 23 departments – 18 clinical and five basic science – comprising the School of Medicine. At UofL, board-certified otolaryngologists practice with University of Louisville Physicians-Ear, Nose & Throat.

“Elevating the otolaryngology and communicative disorders divisions to departmental status puts UofL on par with other such programs at medical schools throughout the United States and reflects the growth of the UofL program,” said Toni Ganzel, MD, dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “It further demonstrates the value of the program to the School of Medicine and the university.”

“Creation of this department will provide the opportunity for continued growth and expansion of the services provided in otolaryngology and communicative disorders,” said Kelly McMasters, MD, PhD, the Ben A. Reid, Sr., MD Professor and Chair, department of surgery. “By establishing autonomy for this department, UofL will be able to increase the focus on the specific needs of this subspecialty in education, research and clinical care.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Otolaryngology” is pronounced OH – TOE’ – LAIR – EN – GAUL’ – UH – GEE.


Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.