Meet a Specialist: Blake C. Alkire, M.D., MPH
Dr. Blake Alkire, a general otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) at Mass. Eye and Ear, Longwood, became interested in medicine early in life, after joining his father on a medical service trip as a teenager. He explains, “My father is an orthopedist and travels to Ecuador every year. When I was thirteen years old, I started to join him on his service trips. I was inspired by the difference he made in his patients’ lives, and very quickly decided that I wanted to become a doctor someday.”
Dr. Alkire’s decision to specialize in otolaryngology occurred later, during his third year at Harvard Medical School. He says, “During medical school, I was fortunate enough to take part in a two week elective in ENT (ear, nose and throat). Although I knew I wanted to be a surgeon, I had not decided on a surgical focus before that course, and I immediately connected with the specialty. I knew focusing on otolaryngology would allow me to treat patients of all ages for a wide variety of ear, nose, throat, head and neck issues. This ability to provide such a broad range of care and improve patients’ quality of life really appealed to me.”
As a member of the Mass. Eye and Ear, Longwood team, Dr. Alkire treats pediatric and adult patients suffering from a variety of ear, nose, throat, head and neck issues. These conditions include sinus issues, nasal congestion, sleep disorders, voice problems, and hearing loss. Treatment varies greatly depending on each individual patient and may include medical, surgical or other therapeutic options. “The huge spectrum of ear, nose and throat conditions means that no two treatment plans are exactly alike. The first step to finding the best course of treatment is to really listen to and then examine my patients, which allows me to identify the root of his or her problem,” Dr. Alkire notes.
From there, Dr. Alkire may prescribe medical treatment or recommend surgery. In certain cases, when therapeutic care is needed, he refers patients to another department within Mass. Eye and Ear, such as speech pathology or audiology. Dr. Alkire mentions, “Our patients benefit from having access to multiple services at Mass. Eye and Ear. The amount of collaboration that takes place between departments allows me to offer the highest level of care to my patients.”
In addition to providing medical care, Dr. Alkire devotes much of his time and effort to research. His research centers on global health initiatives; he works with the Office of Global Surgery and Health at Mass. Eye and Ear and the Program in Global Surgery at Harvard Medical School. With a focus on low- and middle-income countries, he researches the economic effects of surgery on low and middle income countries. He notes, “Back when I traveled to Ecuador with my father, my first thought was, ‘I want to become a doctor!’ My next thought was, ‘I want to become involved with global health.’”
Dr. Alkire’s clinical and research efforts have allowed him to build relationships with other physicians, as well as patients. “At Mass. Eye and Ear, Longwood we are able to provide same-day care to patients who need our ear, nose and throat services. This allows patients to see their primary care doctor, and if urgent ENT care is needed, they have the option to see us on the same day. Patients appreciate the flexibility, and in the process, we are hopefully able to build strong relationships with the doctors who are entrusting us with the care of their patients.” Dr. Alkire concludes, “Working as a physician at Mass. Eye and Ear, Longwood is an absolute privilege and I enjoy providing outstanding, compassionate care to all of my patients.”
Contact Dr. Alkire’s office at 617-936-6160.
View Dr. Alkire’s online bio for more information.
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