March 23, 2001
Volume XXXIV, No. 12


Of Note


New chairman leads otolaryngology department


Dr. Randal Otto has been appointed the new chair of the otolaryngology department. Dr. Otto, who has been with the Health Science Center for 12 years, was interim chair of the department since 1999.

As chair, Dr. Otto will be responsible for the residency training program and patient care and research, and will teach in the Medical School.

Dr. Otto said his goal is to enhance the otolaryngology program at the Health Science Center so that it is among the top 15 percent of programs of its kind.

"We are well on our way to becoming one of the leading institutions in the state and in the country for the treatment of head and neck oncology patients," Dr. Otto said.

"I will focus on building and promoting our faculty and staff so that we can capitalize on research and the clinical aspects of the department."

Dr. Otto said he also will work to increase collaborative efforts between the otolaryngology department and other departments at the Health Science Center as well as regional and national health care organizations.

"With all the advances in the area of molecular biology, for example, we are on the threshold of some exciting changes that could have a huge impact on the survival rate of our patients," Dr. Otto said. "Collaboration is the key to these successes."

Dr. Otto earned his bachelor of science degree from Southeast Missouri State University and his M.D. from the University of Missouri School of Medicine. His postgraduate training includes a residency in otolaryngology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and an internship in pathology at the University of Hawaii.

Before joining the faculty of the Health Science Center, Dr. Otto was an assistant professor and chief of the otolaryngology service at the University of Florida in Gainesville. While there, he also participated on the Physician Launch Team for NASA.

Dr. Otto is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Otolaryngology, and is a fellow of the American Society for Head and Neck Surgery and the American College of Surgeons. He has won numerous awards including listing in the National Register's Who's Who and The Best Doctors in America.

He has served on the Otolaryngology Section of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) for 10 years and now chairs the section. His involvement with the American Academy of Otolaryngology has included serving as editor for the Trauma and Critical Care Home Study Course, as associate editor for the Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Journal and as oral board examiner.

He is co-editor-in-chief of the Yearbook of Otolaryngology.