Head and Neck Surgeon: Dr. James Palmer

So one of the things patients always ask me about is, “How did you end
up being a sinus guy?”. And, so I tell them, actually it goes back to medical school. So I’m sitting in the big lecture hall, that day we were going to do the sinuses, and one of the professors
of what was called the ENT department back then
had a special endoscope, and said, “There’s this new thing. It’s called Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.” As a student I could
look and this whole world of the sinuses was fascinating to me, and that was the day I was hooked. Jim Palmer, and I’m
Professor and Director of the Division of Rhinology at the
University of Pennsylvania, inside the Department
of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. I’m also co-director of the
Skull Base Surgery Center. So, what that means is, I take care of disorders of the nose. Anything from the tip
of the nose, all the way back through the skull base. I usually do it with
special scopes that allow me to look in to areas, and the group of patients that
fits in to that large bucket, is people who have chronic sinusitis and inflammatory disorders,
or people with tumors. The tumor portion of my life,
it’s about half and half, is usually done in a
multidisciplinary environment, so it’s a group effort that
takes care of that portion, and on the inflammatory
side, chronic sinusitis, people with noses plugged up
from allergies, and so on, that also is a multidisciplinary
treatment process. Because we have this
next-door, each of us working together on our environment,
we’re able to bring better outcomes for these
people who have difficulty breathing through their nose. I am a small-town mid-westerner,
and I love people, and I love being around
with them, and talking, and I want them to understand
what’s giving them trouble, why they’re having issues,
why they came to see me, and work together on the problem. So, one of the things I’m
very proud of, is that not only do I scope and look in your nose, there’s a screen for me,
and as a patient there’s a screen for you, and there’s
seats right across from me for your family, and
everybody can look at the screen together, and I want
to teach you what’s going on. It’s a life-long relationship
that we’ll be together, and I’d like them to feel
comfortable asking questions, learning about their disease,
learning about what the best treatments are, and
yes, I want to bring them whatever is newest and best immediately. So, one of the things we
pride ourselves in the Division of Rhinology at the
University of Pennsylvania, is that we believe we
are best in the world. What I mean is we work
every day on doing the best that anyone is doing. You know you have the definitive opinion. You have come to the place
that’s going to get you taken care of, in the
best that can be done. The best part of the job’s
easy, it’s being with and taking care of the
patients, and working with them, teaching them, showing
them what things we can do, and allowing they make a big
difference in their lives.

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