The Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery in the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine is one of the most innovative in the nation, according to the Academic Physician and Scientist.
“Many of our peers and colleagues from around the country have taken notice of what’s been going on here,” said Dr. David Terris, department chair and Porubsky Distinguished Professor in Otolaryngology. “It’s gratifying because it has been our goal to continually grow and improve this program and we have tried to accomplish that in a number of novel ways.”
In a feature in the January issue, the magazine notes the department’s “innovative educational and clinical growth strategies” which have included:
Doubling the number of faculty and adding specialists in rhinology, voice and swallowing disorders, plastic surgery and hearing and balance disorders
Dramatically increasing the number of department publications and the emphasis on research excellence; and
Encouraging the formation of multidisciplinary physician teams to tackle tough clinical cases.
Developing a roadmap for the department’s growth was both simple and challenging, Dr. Terris said. It began just before his arrival at MCG in 2002, when he imagined what the picture of a “perfect” department would be and laid out the steps it would take to achieve it.
Initiatives pursued included the development of a head-and-neck tumor group, consisting of radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, oral surgeons and otolaryngologists, which this year reviewed and consulted on nearly 300 propsective patient cases. Dr. Terris has also worked with Drs. Ted Chin and Tony Mulloy from the Department of Endocrinology to develop the Thyroid Center for MCGHealth, the clinical arm of MCG. Last year, more than 200 patients from 15 states had thyroidectomies at MCG.
The roadmap also included quality initiatives, such as weekly conferences where faculty can preview difficult surgical cases to brainstorm ways to optimize outcomes, and teaching conferences that allow faculty to collaborate in their educational efforts.
“This is a department where everyone is fully engaged in teaching and therefore continually learns from each other,” Dr. Terris said. “That philosophy trickles down to our students so that they are instilled with the notion of being a lifetime learner and educator upon leaving us.”
The department’s near-term goals include adding more faculty and increasing students’ exposure to the highest levels of clinical expertise, thereby increasing competitiveness for the department’s two residency and three fellowship slots. The result will attract more patients and bolster the department’s reputation among physicians, students, residents and former patients, Dr. Terris said.
“We are already known as a place to which patients from all over can come and receive the best medical care available,” he said. “We know what makes us stand out and we will continue to focus our energy on becoming the best in those areas. But none of this would be possible without the efforts put forth by all of our faculty, staff and students.”
The Academic Physician & Scientist is mailed to every academic physician, scientist, senior resident, fellow, residency program director and 3,000 senior-level administrators at medical schools and affiliated teaching hospitals across the country.
By Jennifer Hilliard
Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page