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Garrett elected president of the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Jun. 15, 2023, 8:13 AM


Gaelyn Garrett, MD, MMHC

by Danny Bonvissuto

Gaelyn Garrett, MD, MMHC, Guy M. Maness Professor of Laryngology and Voice, professor of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery and medical director of the Vanderbilt Voice Center, has been elected president of the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS) for the 2023-24 term. She began her new role in March.

“This is an amazing accomplishment and proper recognition for her dedicated work in improving the national educational curriculum for residents and faculty,” said Eben Rosenthal, MD, Barry and Amy Baker Professor of Otolaryngology. “In fact, she committed almost a decade of service to the ABOHNS board of directors on top of being the most sought after voice specialist in the country for her day job.”

Founded in 1924, the ABOHNS is the national certifying board for all otolaryngologists in the U.S. and the second oldest specialty certifying body in the country. Its mission is to serve the public by ensuring that board-certified physicians meet standards of training, knowledge and professionalism throughout their careers.

Garrett was certified by the ABOHNS in 1996 and elected to the board of directors in 2014. Since then, she’s served in multiple leadership capacities, including being the chair of the education and examination committees.

“The latter role heading up the committee responsible for all examinations was probably the role that set the stage for my election to the presidency,” Garrett said. “The examination chair is responsible for organizing and implementing the resident training examination, the written qualifying examination for otolaryngologists completing the training, and the oral certifying examination the year after completing training.

“This year, my major goal is embarking on a large-scale reorganization of our formal certifying process — specifically how we conduct the oral certifying examination. This is an exciting initiative that will only enhance our mission to the public while also serving our future diplomates.”

Garrett said her leadership roles at Vanderbilt University Medical Center — she’s the current co-chair of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine faculty appointments and promotions committee — and the Master of Management of Health Care degree she completed through the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management have given her experience and insight into other clinical and academic departments.

“I cannot underestimate the value [Vanderbilt’s MMHC] program had for me on multiple levels, including leadership training as one aspect,” she said. “Being part of the board of directors for the ABOHNS has, without a doubt, been the most rewarding leadership role I have experienced outside of my clinical duties here at VUMC. Being recognized by my colleagues on the board with election as president is incredibly humbling, but also excitin, given the challenges and changes ahead.”

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