Connecting with a Laryngologist

Weekly Teaching Tip – Apr. 24, 2018
by Teri Stock

CecileLarochelle recently wrote inquiring how to engage a laryngologist for possible referrals and collaboration. I thought my answer would be a helpful teaching tip and one that could be expanded upon on IVTOM’s private Facebook page.

My first suggestion would be to marry one. LOL. Actually, for me, being married to an ENT did not guarantee me anything and it has only been in the last couple of years — we have been married 43 — that my husband has referred anyone to me. I had to earn his respect and trust. These are my suggestions.

Learn to speak in correct medical terminology with correct pronunciation. This will help validate your ability and credibility to a medical professional.
Identify how you can help the doctor and and his patients. Be specific. Write a letter explaining what you offer. For example “I can help your singing patients rebalance their air flow and vocal fold resistance without using the extrinsic muscles of the neck.”
Refer your singers when necessary and go to appointments when you can. Ask the doctor how you can best help your patient so the doctor perceives you as a team player.
Attend local events that may involve singing teachers, SLPs and physicians. If your area does not have them, host one. Invite a doctor and SLP to present and invite the public.
Find a local SLP that works with singers.Tell them you are looking for someone to refer to and in turn let them know what you can do for their singing patients.
Be confident. If you do not believe in your work, why should they?
Here is a little song I wrote to help with some basic terminology. It is sung to “My Favorite Things” from Sound of Music.

Nodules and Polyps and Sulcis Vocalis
Paresis, Dysphonia and granulomas
Presbyphonia and MTD too
Better get it right or your student could sue.
Hyoid and cricoid and thyroarytenoids
larynx, epithelium, and lamina propia
air flow, membranes and vagus cranial nerve X
These are the things we use when we mix

When you can’t sing
And your suffering
And your gig’s next week
See a Doc, SLP then come see me too
And I”ll will take care of you.

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