Karen Jo Doyle Enright, MD, PhD

June 2016 - Vol. 35, No. 05

AM16logo_1inThe Presidential Citations are given to individuals who have had a profound influence on the AAO-HNS/F president’s life and otolaryngology. President Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, has selected the following individuals for their outstanding contributions and dedication to the Academy and Foundation.

enrightKaren Jo Doyle Enright, MD, PhD, embodies the complete person that we all aspire to be. Karen Jo is not only a leader in otolaryngology, but has actively encouraged others up into their leadership positions. This citation is given to Karen Jo Doyle Enright, MD, PhD, in recognition of her selfless work to advance our specialty and her generous and enduring friendship.

Karen and I overlapped as fellows. Initially a wonderful PhD audiologist, she went on to medical school and became a star resident and otology and neurotology fellow at the House Ear Clinic. She had been an audiologist there prior to going to medical school, so she knew the lay of the land. She found me at the Boards before I got to the clinic, and befriended me immediately. Once I had been there for a month or so, she saw I was looking lost—LA is most definitely not New York—and she organized an evening out for us along with two other House women, a senior statistician and audiologist. I was transported to off-off Broadway and my homesickness was quashed.

The House Ear group had never had
two female fellows simultaneously before us. Somehow the “nice” Japanese-Irish woman and the “nice” Indian woman showed them who we really were—and the Institute stayed standing! Her academic career in the University of California system spanned decades of meaningful research on childhood hearing loss, mentoring medical students and residents, and leadership in national otology. That continues now in Michigan where
another group of patients and residents benefit.

Karen is an incredibly thoughtful researcher, identifying a true clinical void and then organizing her work to answer the right question. She is a patient teacher and brilliant, but unassuming surgeon. She managed to have her sons during residency—back in the bad old days when that was just not done, and they have grown into wonderful young men. She is an active community member, and loving toward the older generation. When I had my children, Karen sent the most thoughtful and creative auntie gifts.

She has been my champion throughout. I had the good fortune to attend a lecture given by her at Johns Hopkins when she was being honored there. Her humility in the face of obvious excellence is a lesson to take strongly to heart. As much as otolaryngology has benefited from Karen Jo, I am incredibly fortunate to have found and kept such a wonderful friend. I am very honored to be able to present Karen Jo Doyle Enright with this Presidential Citation.