Department Chair's Welcome

I am pleased to welcome you to the website for the University of Arizona Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.   We are the newest department at the University of Arizona College of Medicine with a growing academic and clinical program.  We offer advanced educational training for current and aspiring otolaryngologists, conduct ground-breaking research, and provide expert comprehensive otolaryngology care for patients throughout Arizona and the Southwest. I invite you to explore our website and meet our dedicated team of faculty, residents and staff.

OUR HISTORY

Our history began as the first medical school in the state of Arizona, which was founded by the University of Arizona in Tucson more than 50 years ago.  The first University of Arizona otolaryngology program initially started 40 years ago, and the ENT residency program trained 14 residents through 1989.  Subsequently, a more than 20 year hiatus followed which was marked by an absence of any academic otolaryngology presence, before an otolaryngology residency program was re-started in 2013.  The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine—Tucson was established in 2014, and our department’s inaugural otolaryngology residency graduation was held in June 2017.

In the modern era, our residency graduates have successfully pursued training fellowships in pediatric otolaryngology, advanced laryngology, facial plastic surgery, and head and neck oncologic surgery.  We also offer an advanced training fellowship in Rhinology and Anterior Skull Base Surgery.

In 2015, the University of Arizona and Banner Health entered into a historic 30 year academic affiliation agreement, creating a partnership between the only allopathic medical school in the state and one of the largest non-profit hospital system in the country.  The benefits of this historic partnership for the state of Arizona are many, including new investment of 1.2 billion dollars for academic medicine in Arizona. 

April 2019 marked the beginning of a new era for medicine in Tucson with the opening of the new Banner University Medical Center Tower. This $400 million nine-story hospital replaces many of the older sections of the original hospital built in 1974.  The hospital tower features all-private rooms to serve our patients and their families.  A highlight of the tower are 22 new operating rooms which provide a more spacious and state-of-the-art operating room environment.  The new hospital tower complements the opening of the Banner University Medicine North Clinic, a 208,000 square foot ambulatory clinic which opened in 2018.  This multi-specialty clinic includes our new ENT clinic which provides clinical services to adults and children in a bright, pleasant environment.  The expanded clinic space has allowed us to co-locate our ENT physicians with audiology services and a renowned team of speech and swallow specialists from the University of Arizona Department of Speech-Language Pathology, providing more convenient one-stop access for our patients needing these related services.  Our old ENT clinic, which was located in the 1970s-era main hospital building has been transformed into modern, new administrative offices for our department. 

Our mission as an academic otolaryngology department is to educate and inspire our students and trainees, to innovate and make discoveries to be shared with the world, and to heal when possible but care always for our patients.

In September 2019, we welcomed 2 new faculty to our department.  Dr Nicholas Dewyer is our new Director of the Division of Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery. Dr Dewyer completed his residency in Otoloaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, followed by a two-year fellowship in Neurotology at Harvard Medical School. He is a surgeon with expertise in disorders of the ear, hearing, and balance systems. He treats adults and children with conditions including hearing loss, cholesteatoma, and vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma). As a skilled otologic surgeon, he uses innovative approaches like minimally-invasive endoscopic ear surgery and balloon eustachian tube dilation, and has taught these techniques to other surgeons in national and international courses.

Dr. Fiyin Sokoya is our new co-director of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.  Dr. Sokoya completed his residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Colorado followed by a fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Baylor All Saints Medical Center under the mentorship of Dr. Yadro Ducic. Dr. Sokoya’s clinical expertise covers the full breath of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures in the head and neck, including rhinoplasty, face/neck lift, blepharoplasty, facial trauma, skin cancer (Mohs’) reconstruction, microvascular free tissue reconstruction, and treatment for facial paralysis. His research interests include common pathways in skin cancer and keloid/hypertrophic scar formation, treatment modalities in keloids and hypertrophic scars. He has published over 40 peer review journal articles and book chapters in the field of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery pursues scientific discoveries in our clinical and basic science research laboratories.  Head and neck cancer biology research is carried out under the direction of Dr. Carlos Caulin, Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research.  Dr. Caulin’s laboratory studies molecular mechanisms that promote head and neck cancer development, with a primary focus on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma.  Dr. Caulin and our head and neck surgeons also collaborate extensively with the University of Arizona Cancer Center, the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in the state.  Dr. Eugene Chang conducts laboratory studies to determine the mechanisms underlying chronic rhinosinusitis, a collection of disorders that affect 15 million people in the United States alone.  Dr. Chang also has research interest in developing a Virtual Reality surgical simulation platform for endoscopic sinus surgery education and pre-operative planning.

Today, our educational, clinical, and research programs are thriving. I invite you to explore our website, come visit us, and share our journey to become one of the premier academic otolaryngology programs in the country.

Steven J. Wang, MD
Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery