Message from the Chair

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai upholds a longstanding tradition of excellence in all facets of clinical care, education, and research. It consistently ranks among the best by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved international reputation, thanks to the dedication of our physicians and the continuous training they offer future otolaryngologists. Since it was established in 1879, the Department has been shaped by innovative, industrious, and competitive individuals, steadfastly aiming to keep Mount Sinai at the forefront of redefining and expanding otolaryngology.

From Dr. Sidney Yankauer’s introduction of nearly 30 surgical procedures and instruments to the work of Dr. Hugh Biller and Dr. William Lawson on conservation laryngeal surgery and the pectoralis flap, innovation has been a consistent hallmark of Otolaryngology at Mount Sinai. These developments have had immeasurable impact on the lives of our patients and, in some cases, have changed the standard of medical care.

Another notable is our dedication to scholarship and education. Dr. Isidore Friesner introduced the Otolaryngology Residency Training Program at Mount Sinai in 1923. Since then, more than 250 residents and 50 fellows have graduated the training program. Many have gone on to lead departments, head divisions, and establish respected clinical practices in the community. The dedication to scholarship and research is reflected in the innumerable landmark manuscripts, books, and instructional courses that have been the products of Mount Sinai staff and residents in training.

It is also striking to note the role that Mount Sinai has played in the advancement of the specialty. Head and neck surgery was once the domain of the general surgeon. Thanks to the perseverance of Dr. Joseph Goldman, the Department was granted permission to include head and neck surgery in its training program in 1956.  Since then, otolaryngologists across the country have taken control of head and neck surgery.

More recently, our Head and Neck Cancer Research Program, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, has become the primary global resource for dormant cell research. We forged the treatment of TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) for oropharyngeal cancers, and were among the first to adopt the cranial nerve 5 to 7 transfer for Bell’s palsy, as well as the Inspire Therapy implant device for patients with obstructive sleep apnea unable to comply with the CPAP regimen.

Additionally, our multidisciplinary Head and Neck Institute, Center for Thyroid and Parathyroid Diseases, and Skull Base Surgery Center incorporate some of the world’s finest experts in head and neck oncology, neurosurgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and neuro-otology, enabling us to treat any head and neck disease at any stage.

This rich history, coupled with the merging of seven hospitals that formed the Mount Sinai Health System, positions Mount Sinai as the foremost leader in the field of Otolaryngology and provided a tremendous foundation for growth. We have accomplished much, thanks to our high-performing faculty members, researchers, and trainees, and we look forward to continuously shaping the landscape of Otolaryngology in the future.

Eric M. Genden, MD, MHCA, FACS
Isidore Friesner Professor and Chairman
Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai