A new leader starts his tenure
This March, the Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery began a new era:
David W. Eisele, a former member of the department, returned to become its new Andelot Professor and Director. Eisele, a graduate of Cornell University Medical College, originally came to Hopkins in 1988 after residency training in otolaryngology-head and neck
surgery at the University of Washington. During his training, he became intrigued with the complexity of intricate head and neck surgeries and the finesse required to treat patients with head and neck tumors effectively. Over time, he saw the tremendous opportunities inherent in this field for having a huge impact on patients’ lives. Operations for head and neck cancers can be devastating—forever changing the appearance of structures most visible to others and potentially affecting functions pivotal to everyday life, such as swallowing, speech and breathing.
“In otolaryngology-head and neck surgery,” he says, “we have the potential to reduce the impact of therapies for conditions that can greatly affect patients’ form and function and help them thrive after what can be quite morbid treatments.”
After joining the faculty in Hopkins’ Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Eisele eventually became the director of the division of head and neck surgery and served in the department for 13 years. “We had a really great team here,” he says, “and it was wonderful to be a part of that.”
In 2001, however, Eisele received an offer too good to refuse: a chance to serve as Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. Though he’d miss his Hopkins colleagues, Eisele says the opportunity allowed him to develop leadership skills in both that department and in his field. While at UCSF, he also directed the UCSF Head and Neck Cancer Program and served as president of the medical staff.
Eisele, however, was eager to return to Johns Hopkins when the recent opportunity presented. He says his biggest plans are to continue the department’s excellence and take advantage of Hopkins’ affiliations with regional hospitals in Washington, D.C., and St. Petersburg, Fla. He’d like to expand residency training programs, a move that could help combat the projected manpower shortage for otolaryngologists-head and neck surgeons in the future. He’s also creating new leadership opportunities within the department, establishing vice chairs and committees within the faculty.
Eventually, he says, we will provide the same level of care at all of of practice sites. “We’ll have a ‘one team’ mentality,” Eisele says, “that will allow us to continue what we do best for patients at any facility that bears the Hopkins name.”