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VUMC mourns renowned neurotologist Glasscock

Feb. 22, 2018, 9:13 AM


Renowned neurotologist Michael E. Glasscock III, MD, adjunct professor of Otolaryngology, died Feb. 17 in the home he shared with his daughter, Martina Glasscock Barnes, in Asheville, North Carolina. He was 84. The cause of death was kidney disease.

Michael E. Glasscock III, MD

Dr. Glasscock, a pioneer in the field of neurotology, specialized in the surgery and treatment of the inner ear.

He received his MD from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Science in Memphis and trained with acclaimed surgeons John Shea III, MD, from Memphis, and William House, MD.

In 1970, he founded the Otology Group, a Nashville ear practice with a national patient base and an international reputation for quality. The practice merged with the Vanderbilt Department of Otolaryngology in 2004, forming The Otology Group of Vanderbilt.

During his career, Dr. Glasscock published more than 250 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and was the editor of “Surgery of the Ear,” now in its seventh edition. He founded the American Journal of Otology, now known as Otology and Neurotology.

He also founded the nonprofit organization the EAR Foundation and was the past president of the American Otologic Society.

“Mike Glasscock truly was an international legend and a giant in the ear world,” said Ron Eavey, MD, Guy M. Maness Professor and chair of Otolaryngology and director of the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center.

“He had various relationships with the Vanderbilt Department of Otolaryngology and the Bill Wilkerson Center over decades. Mike is one of the few individuals on the planet who cannot ever be adequately replaced. We will miss him and celebrate his special life,” Eavey said.

The Otology Group has become one of the world’s acknowledged centers of excellence for treatment of ear disorders. It is now headed by a former fellow of Dr. Glasscock, David Haynes, MD, professor of Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery and Hearing and Speech Sciences.

Dr. Glasscock endowed a lectureship to the department, as well as the Michael E. Glasscock III, M.D. Fellowship, a position held by the department’s second-year Otology/Neurotology fellow.

“Mike Glasscock trained many of the top ear surgeons in the country, including many department chairs and Lloyd Minor, MD, the current dean of the Stanford School of Medicine,” Haynes said. “He demanded and instilled in all he trained excellence in patient care, patient education, patient experience and a continuous review and improvement in patient outcomes.”

Dr. Glasscock is survived by his four children, Michael E. Glasscock IV, Martina Barnes, Angie Glasscock and Bill Glasscock; one grandson, Henri Pretorius; three stepdaughters, Heather Patchett, Ann VanDevender and Julia Turner; and a brother, Patrick Glasscock.

A private ceremony will be held for family in Asheville.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation at

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