The Day in the Life of an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor

Like any medical specialist, an ear, nose and throat or ENT doctor works long hours a day, seeing as many as 35 patients for a wide variety of problems a day. Dr. Erica Thaler of Penn Medicine describes a day in her life.

Although Dr. Thaler sees patients for many different problems, she specializes in rhinology, or problems with the nose and sinuses.


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Most of the surgeries she performs are sinus surgeries. Your ear nose and throat doctor may also have areas of expertise, such as pediatrics, working with the ears or working on the thyroid glands. She saw a lot of patients with sleep apnea, so she also developed a new kind of sleep apnea surgery using robotics and an electronic implant.

Some ENTs have multiple rooms in their practices. Dr. Thaler prefers to just have one room so she can better deliver care to each patient. In her work with sleep apnea patients, Dr. Thaler says how surprised she found that fixing a patient’s sleep apnea changed their lives. Although ENTs may have their own specialties, they will adjust to meet the needs of their patients.

Dr. Thaler says the two best things about her job is interacting with the patients and with her colleagues. ENTs need to work with a team and be able to listen.

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