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VUMC’s Garrett to be Triological Society’s first female president

May. 22, 2019, 11:46 AM


by Kelsey Herbers

Gaelyn Garrett, MD, MMHC, vice chair for clinical operations in Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Otolaryngology and Guy M. Maness Chair in Laryngology and Voice, was recently inducted as the first female president of the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society (also known as the Triological Society) during the organization’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

Gaelyn Garrett, MD, MMHC, was recently inducted as the first female president of the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society (also known as the Triological Society). (photo by John Russell)

The association, which was founded more than 120 years ago, is the oldest society focused on academic and clinical otolaryngology and is the only society that is not specific to an otolaryngology subspecialty.

To become an active member, health care professionals must present a research thesis suitable for inclusion by the established membership.

Garrett, who also serves as senior executive medical director for the Vanderbilt Voice Center, has held numerous leadership roles within the society since joining in 2003, including terms as vice president, secretary/treasurer of the Southern Section and program director for the annual meeting. She continues to serve as Laryngology Section chair for the Triological Best Practice Committee and as a member of the Intellectual Property Committee.

“My early career mentors in medical school, residency and fellowship all instilled in me the importance of maintaining cross-specialty connections whether through research or clinical relationships. I firmly believe that I am a more successful laryngologist because I have maintained knowledge in all the other areas of otolaryngology,” said Garrett.

“My involvement with the Triological Society has opened so many doors for me academically and has allowed me to consult with other leaders in all the subspecialty areas of otolaryngology.”

In her one-year term as president, Garrett hopes to reinvigorate involvement and membership by those in community practice and instill in younger physicians a desire to become involved in academic societies early in their careers. Other areas of focus include research grant support and diversity initiatives.

“Dr. Garrett is recognized nationally and internationally for her abilities as a physician and as a person and her ability to serve in national leadership roles,” said Roland Eavey, MD, Guy M. Maness Professor and chair of Otolaryngology and director of the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center. “The Triological Society is our oldest and most prestigious otolaryngology organization. She is the first female president since the group started meeting in 1896. We are honored, and Vanderbilt is fortunate, that she so ably represents us.”

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