Dr. David Tunkel is the division director of pediatric otolaryngology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is a professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, an associate professor of pediatrics, and anesthesiology-critical care medicine. He leads a division of pediatric otolaryngologists and allied health care providers who diagnose and treat the entire breadth of head and neck disease and communication disorders that affect children.
Dr. Tunkel has special expertise in treating airway disorders in children, including obstructive sleep apnea, congenital or acquired abnormalities of the larynx and trachea, and infections of the upper airway. He also treats the common infections of the ears, nose, and throat that affect young children, such as pharyngitis, sinusitis, and otitis media. He has conducted research that showed the success of new methods of subtotal tonsillectomy in treating sleep disordered breathing, with improved recovery for many children. He also treats children who need surgery for chronic otitis media, conductive hearing loss, and cholesteatoma. He is nationally known for treating children with special needs, including those with cleft palate, Down syndrome, short-stature skeletal dysplasias, and neuromotor diseases.
Dr. Tunkel has been a faculty member in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins for over 20 years. He trained in surgery and otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins, and received advanced pediatric otolaryngology training at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
He has served as the chair of the pediatric otolaryngology committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and was the chairperson of the otolaryngology section of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has been a board member for the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology. He has participated in clinical practice guideline development for major national organizations, recently serving on committees for acute otitis media and the use of tympanostomy tubes. He is the chair of the Guideline Taskforce for the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and was the lead developer for guidelines on tinnitus and nosebleed management. Dr. Tunkel is an editorial board member for JAMA Otolaryngology.
Dr. Tunkel has been recognized by Baltimore Magazine as a “Top Doc,” and has received various accolades, including honor awards from the Maryland Speech-Language Hearing Association and the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.