John Dornhoffer has been named chairman of the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
The appointment is effective May 1, according to a news release. Dornhoffer succeeds James Y. Suen, who is stepping down after serving as chairman since 1974.
Dornhoffer—like many of his patients—has a severe hearing loss and brings a unique perspective to the role. He will be the only otolaryngology-head and neck surgery chairman in the United States to have a cochlear implant.
“Dr. Dornhoffer brings exceptional leadership experience and a strong commitment to all of our mission areas to his new role,” UAMS Executive Vice Chancellor and College of Medicine Dean Pope L. Moseley said in the release. “He has gained international recognition for his surgical skills and for his research into hearing loss and conditions such as tinnitus, vertigo and other balance disorders. He has invented two lines of prostheses that are used worldwide for middle ear reconstruction.
“Dr. Dornhoffer is greatly respected for his compassionate and empathetic care of patients who require cochlear implants or other surgical treatments for hearing loss. Students and trainees know him as a dedicated mentor and role model.”
With 43 years of continuous service, Suen is believed to be the longest serving chair of otolaryngology in United States history. He was instrumental in development of what is now the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and served as its third director from 2001 to 2007. He will continue to serve as a distinguished professor in the department, practice head and neck surgery, and teach.
Dornhoffer has served on the UAMS faculty since 1994 and as vice chair of the department since 2009.
Dornhoffer received his medical degree from the University of Kansas Medical School in 1988. He completed his residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at UAMS and continued his training with a fellowship in otology and neurotology at the University of Würzburg in Germany and a fellowship in skull base surgery at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.