Dr. Michael Rho, an ENT specialist at Mass. Eye and Ear, Stoneham, became interested in medicine very early in life, when he was only five or six years old. He explains, “Both of my parents were physicians, and I grew up watching them take care of patients. I enjoyed spending Saturday mornings with my father on rounds, meeting his patients, and realized that I wanted to dedicate my career to helping patients as well.”
Dr. Rho’s decision to specialize in otolaryngology occurred later, while he was attending medical school. He recalls, “One particular patient during medical school really cemented my decision to specialize in otolaryngology. A child was being treated for a bad sphenoid sinus infection (a type of sinus infection associated with the area directly next to the optic nerve) which caused her to develop vision loss. The surgeon brought her straight to the operating room, corrected the problem, and her vision was restored. It was truly incredible to witness. That was the moment I knew I would specialize in otolaryngology.”
A member of the Mass. Eye and Ear, Stoneham team, Dr. Rho treats patients suffering from the full range of ear, nose and throat issues. He most often treats adult and pediatric patients suffering from chronic sinusitis, voice disorders, tonsil, and hearing problems, and enjoys the challenges that come with diagnosing and treating this wide variety of conditions. Dr. Rho notes, “No two days are ever alike. I really enjoy the challenge of helping each and every patient who walks through my door. Maintaining a close, personal relationship with everyone I see is a challenge, but it’s something I strive to do every day.”
Dr. Rho offers both surgical and medical (non-surgical) treatment options for his patients, depending on their condition. He mentions, “During medical school, I knew I wanted to focus on a specialty that combines both medical and surgical treatment for patients. In ENT, we not only perform surgery, but we also spend time becoming acquainted with our patients and providing non-surgical treatment options.” Dr. Rho continues, “Innovative technology has allowed otolaryngologists to provide more minimally invasive endoscopic surgeries. With these exciting techniques available, patients feel less pain, recover in a shorter amount of time, and can typically return to work shortly after their surgeries. Having the opportunity to provide less invasive care to my patients, so that they can return to their daily routines more quickly, makes my job that much more rewarding.”
Although Dr. Rho typically treats patients in Mass. Eye and Ear’s Stoneham office, he is also able to work closely with other specialists at Mass. Eye and Ear’s main campus in Boston. “I closely collaborate with our specialized physicians in each ear, nose and throat discipline. This allows me to provide the highest level of care to patients, especially for those patients suffering from extremely complex conditions,” he says.
Dr. Rho stresses the importance of building close relationships with families living in the North Suburban area. He explains, “The physicians at Mass. Eye and Ear, Stoneham are immersed in this community. We have roots here, and we want patients to know that world-class care is available close to home.” To grow these relationships, the physicians at Mass. Eye and Ear, Stoneham participate in community events throughout the year, such as Stoneham Town Day and annual head and neck cancer screenings. Dr. Rho concludes, “We look forward to providing outstanding care to the families in our community day after day.”
A life-changing experience can impact a person in many ways. In the case of Donald Keamy, Jr., M.D., MPH, undergoing sinus surgery at Mass. Eye and Ear in his teens drove him toward a career in medicine and eventually a specialty in pediatric otolaryngology.
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