Among the oldest medical specialties in the U.S., Dr. Temp Patterson explains his role as an otolaryngologist.
A surgical subspecialty within medicine, otolaryngology deals specifically with conditions of the ear, nose, and throat, as well as related structures of the head and neck. Specialist physicians such as Dr. Temp Patterson, an experienced otolaryngologist, are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating conditions relating to the ears, nose, throat, sinuses, larynx, and mouth, in particular.
“Otolaryngologists are commonly referred to as ENT physicians,” explains Dr. Patterson, whereby ENT stands for ‘ear, nose, and throat.’
During a typical day, an otolaryngologist such as Dr. Patterson is likely to address any number of complaints including hearing loss, ear infections, and tinnitus, among other issues of the ear or ears. Nasal complaints and conditions, meanwhile, may include sinusitis, allergies, and nasal obstructions caused by septum deviation, according to Dr. Patterson.
He and fellow ENT physicians, in diagnosing problems related to the throat, may treat complaints surrounding the larynx—or voice box—as well as the esophagus, or upper aerodigestive tract. “An otolaryngologist will also be tasked with addressing vocal or swallowing disorders,” Dr. Patterson adds.
Away specifically from the ears, nose, and throat, otolaryngologists also deal with medical issues relating to the head and neck. In addition to treating infections in this area of the body, physicians such as Dr. Patterson also address cancerous and non-cancerous tumors of the face and neck. Otolaryngologists are also employed to treat facial trauma and deformities, performing both cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.
An ENT physician may also choose to focus on one or more specialties within the field. These can include laryngology, allergies, pediatrics, neurotology, specific conditions of the head and neck, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and rhinology. To qualify as an otolaryngologist, board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, an applicant must complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and five or more years of specialty training. They must also pass a board examination.
“My goal, whether as a physician, an otolaryngologist, or in the role of surgeon, is ultimately to provide high-quality, affordable care and services to each of my patients,” adds Dr. Patterson, wrapping up.
Dr. Temp Patterson is a physician and surgeon practicing in Burley, Idaho. The specialist doctor has been in practice since 1996, having attended BYU, the University of Utah Medical School, and completing his residency in otolaryngology at the University of Oklahoma.