October 01, 2015

Otolaryngology to become 26th department in the UAB School of Medicine

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Carroll William small croppedWilliam R. Carroll, M.D., interim chair of the new Department of Otolaryngology in the UAB School of Medicine.The Division of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine will become the Department of Otolaryngology on October 1, 2015. The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved the change at its meeting on Sept. 18, 2015.

William R. Carroll, M.D., the George W. Barber Jr. Professor in Otolaryngology, is the interim chair of the department, which will become the 26th department in the School of Medicine.

“Dr. Carroll is a steadfast leader in the field of ENT and in the Department of Surgery through his role as interim division director of Otolaryngology and section chief of Head and Neck Oncology,” said Kirby I. Bland, M.D., the Fay Fletcher Kerner professor and former chair of the Department of Surgery. “His leadership will be key in guiding the department through this transition.”

“I fully support this change. Elevating otolaryngology to a department structure will allow the program grow its offerings, all while providing the best patient care for Alabama citizens, comprehensive training for future surgeons and robust research programs,” said Herbert Chen, M.D., who succeeded Bland as chair of Surgery and surgeon-in-chief of UAB Hospital on Oct. 1.

The Division of Otolaryngology at UAB is a world-class practice, with 15 full-time faculty performing more than 3,600 surgeries per year. The program’s clinical services include head and neck oncology, otology/neurotology, sinus and skull base disorders, facial plastics and reconstruction, laryngology, salivary gland disorders and sleep apnea.

Otolaryngology is also home to a growing residency program to train future physicians through five years of comprehensive surgical training, as well as specialized fellowship programs in laryngology and head and neck oncology.

Elevating otolaryngology from the division level to a department is consistent with national trends, said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine.  UAB’s otolaryngology program was one of the largest programs nationally still classified as a division.

“This move helps the program continue to thrive in providing quality care and further establishes its national reputation as a leader in head and neck surgery. Dr. Carroll, Dr. Chen and Dr. Bland are the best leaders to accomplish this goal,” Vickers said.

Carroll notes that the outstanding leadership provided by the Department of Surgery has allowed the Otolaryngology Division to develop into a nationally recognized program. “The transition to Department status will allow continued growth and is designed to take the program to the next level of excellence and enhance UAB Medicine’s preeminence in patient care, education and research,” Carroll said.

Carroll will serve as interim chair through the transition and establishment of the department.  A national search for a chair is planned to begin in fall 2016.