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Rebecca Howell, MD

Rebecca Howell, MD
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Publish Date: 02/19/15
Media Contact: Katie Pence, 513-558-4561
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Focus On Faculty With Rebecca Howell, MD

Rebecca Howell, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the UC College of Medicine, member of the UC Cancer Institute and a physician who specializes in treating voice and swallowing disorders, grew up in Pittsburgh and then attended the University of Michigan for her undergraduate studies. She won an Intramural Research Training Award at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda prior to starting medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She went back to Washington, D.C., to complete her residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at George Washington University and then completed a one-year fellowship in laryngology at Georgia Regents University in Augusta just prior to being recruited to the University of Cincinnati. 

Why did you choose UC?

"Both my chairman, Dr. Myles Pensak, and senior partner, Dr. Sid Khosla, have a vision for our department and knew I could be an integral part of it. Dr. Khosla’s lab for laryngeal biomechanics and reconstruction is at the forefront of research in our field. My husband is an aerospace engineer, and what Dr. Khosla does is to combine fluid dynamics (aerospace) and laryngology—I’ve always considered it a perfect marriage anyway.”

Explain a bit about your clinical focuses (voice and swallowing outcomes in head and neck survivors)? Do you conduct any research?

"Clinically, I love the breadth of laryngology—voice, airway and swallowing. From a research perspective, I am interested in dysphagia, and particularly, the group I see the greatest benefit in treating is head and neck cancer survivors. I am new to UC, so my initial research efforts will be continuing the work on our voice, airway and swallowing database until I have some pilot data to support a cancer survivorship grant.”

What is your favorite part of the job? What motivates you?

"Working with my team is my favorite part of my job. I have a rare opportunity to change the way we treat patients at the Voice and Swallowing Center. We are transitioning to a comprehensive treatment center where patients see both physician/surgeon and speech language pathologist in the same visit. It creates an exciting, collaborative environment, which allows us to optimize how we work as a team.”

What do you like to do in your spare time? Any interesting hobbies or facts about yourself?

"I have two young children to keep me busy at home. I also have an incredibly supportive family; in fact, my sister moved to Ohio with us to help take care of my children. My sister, daughter and I all love to cook and subsequently eat! I think it must be part of my fascination in treating patients who struggle with voice and swallowing issues—it is the very heart of how we interact and socialize together.”

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