A Day in the Life of Dr. Carol Reid

Olmsted Medical Center’s new Otolaryngologist 

Otolaryngology is “the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained to diagnose and manage diseases and disorders of the ears, nose, sinuses, larynx (voice box), mouth and throat, as well as structures of the neck and face. They are commonly referred to as ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) physicians,” according to American Academy of Otolaryngology website.


With the addition of Carol M. Reid, M.D., Olmsted Medical Center’s ENT department doubled from one to two doctors in 2017. Reid and Christopher Dennis Frisch, M.D. treat adults and pediatric patients for both acute and chronic conditions. If necessary, OMC’s ENT department partners with their plastic surgery department when septorhinoplasty (nasal repair) is needed as part of treatment.


Reid says she became interested in the ENT specialty in medical school. She explains, “I wanted to be able to treat cleft lip and palate. I went in to facial plastics to be able to work with a congenital clinic that worked with cleft lip and palate.” Since this type of work is not done in general practice she decided to give it up to practice ENT. Dr. Reid has further training in facial plastics, which means that she can treat cosmetic and medical issues with anything in the region of the nose, face and neck, as well as the ears.


Dr. Reid tells us about otolaryngology and her typical day, what kinds of things she sees as well as a little advice for anyone interested in pursuing an ENT career.

RWM: How do you describe otolaryngology?

Dr. Reid: Otolaryngology is a specialty that is surgical and medical, dealing with conditions of the ear, nose, sinuses, throat, voice and neck. We work with multiple populations, from newborn to the geriatric population. Some conditions overlap with other specialties such as general surgery and neurology, and we deal with both surgical and medical problems in those areas. 

RWM: What is a typical day like for you?

Dr. Reid: On a clinic day, I come in early, get notes ready and respond to messages. I prepare for clinic by investigating patient charts for those people who I will see that day. I see patients through the morning and afternoon. Clinic procedures that are done include endoscopy (a procedure in which an instrument is introduced into the body to give a view of its internal parts) for the nose, fiber optic laryngoscopy (an examination that lets your doctor look at the back of your throat, your voice box (larynx) and vocal cords with a scope) for the voice. 

We also perform cancer screenings and see patients to evaluate their hearing tests for hearing aids and determine whether medical conditions need to be addressed before hearing aids. I prepare patients for surgery and perioperative care and go over the benefits of surgery. I am in surgery for a full day once a week. The majority of cases are related to the nose and sinuses, but I also see children for tonsillectomy and ear surgery.

RWM: What are some conditions that you see?

Dr. Reid: All general ENT: sinus conditions, sleep issues, tonsil and ear infections, sinus infections, hoarseness and chronic cough, allergy and asthma issues and masses in the head or neck area. We are here to service all populations. 

RWM: What is your education background?

Dr. Reid: I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for undergrad and medical school. Then I did my residency in Oregon and a fellowship in facial plastics in Sacramento. I was an associate professor for a couple of years and then went into practice.

RWM: If someone is considering going into this field, what advice would you have for them?

Dr. Reid: Decide what area you are most interested in: ENT is a very broad field. Then, decide what kind of lifestyle you want to live and what time commitment you want to give. 

Emily Watkins is a personal trainer and writer.


1. http://www.entnet.org/content/what-otolaryngologist