About the Department

Our Departmental Vision

Mission Statement:

We strive to cure diseases of the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck by pursuing new scientific discoveries, by translating this knowledge into novel and effective clinical treatments, by offering our patients a culturally-sensitive experience while they receive high-level, compassionate care, and by educating our trainees to continue these philosophies into the future.

How will we achieve this?

First, we will continue to expand our clinical collaborations both within and outside our Department to achieve synergies that improve patient care. This multidisciplinary team-based approach allows us to provide the type of world-class care that people expect from Keck Medicine at USC. Our quality and excellence attracts patients from around the world to come here for their care.

Second, we will combine the latest biomedical research technology with the fundamental, old-school approach of developing a well-crafted hypothesis and then carefully testing it. This allows us to make the groundbreaking discoveries that lead to cures. We translate these discoveries into clinical treatments that can be implemented by all physicians to improve health.

Third, we will teach these principles of discovery and excellence in clinical care to our trainees. These are the people that will continue to transform health care in the decades to come. We believe in the value of educating the next generation of physicians, scientists, and allied health care personnel and indoctrinating them with our beliefs so that they will continue to advance the standard of care.

Inclusion and Diversity

The incredible diversity of cultures within the city of Los Angeles and all of our surrounding communities drives everything we do. The variety of people within our Department, within USC, and within our patient population is a huge strength. Diversity fosters novel and open-minded thinking. It means that when we meet to discuss how to solve a problem, we come at it from multiple perspectives. This informs our decision-making process so that the best ideas are adopted.

Diversity also improves our clinical, research, and educational programs. The clinical patient population we see here covers the spectrums of socioeconomic status, international culture, religion, and LGBTQQ/gender identity. Our utmost concern is to treat people of all walks of life with respect, dignity, and excellence. Diversity in our human subjects research population means that our clinical research findings will have relevance to other locations. This aids our ability to do clinical research trials here, and this is a major focus of our department. From an educational perspective, we include trainees from all backgrounds in our educational experiences, and this helps everybody learn better. Inclusivity is important to us.

People and Environment

The core of our Department has been, and will always be, the faculty, the trainees, and the staff. It is their talent that drives our clinical, research, and educational missions. Our Department currently employs 107 individuals includes 46 faculty, 22 residents and fellows, 6 research trainees, and 33 staff.

However, the total community of people associated with our Department is much larger. This includes undergraduates, graduate students, and the hospital and clinic staff dedicated to Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Our holiday party is inclusive and it is huge!

Furthermore, there is an energy within this Department and frankly, throughout Keck Medicine at USC, that is not common in academic medical centers:

  • The faculty, staff, and trainees are enthusiastic
  • We are optimistic about the future
  • We are open-minded and willing to change in order to improve the system
  • We care about our community
  • We cherish individuality and diversity
  • The academic credentials of the faculty are incredible; most have national and international prominence
  • The Department is clearly on the rise and it is a tremendous time to be here

Our culture encourages collaborations. By working together as a team, by having open discussions to consider all options, and by having the energy to push our agenda, we move forward. We foster a deliberate decision-making process based upon logic and reason. However, when a decision has been made, we act on it with the speed and guts of an entrepreneur. This process of developing a shared vision for long-range thinking is crucial to overcome the big challenges of our Department’s mission statement.

We have an incredible enthusiasm for what we will be able to accomplish within the next 10 years. It’s our belief that the USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery will serve as an example to other academic medical centers of how our specialty can drive innovation that helps people.