Published on May 23, 2016

Pleased to introduce Dr. Adam Klein, laryngeal surgeon. He is the director of Emory Voice Center. An accomplished musician, and he is also knowledgeable about voice-over! Please credit The Voice Forum when you share our content. #fellowshipofthelarynx

TVF: Where do you currently practice?
AK: I have been at the Emory Voice Center in Atlanta, Georgia since 2005. I started here directly after my laryngology fellowship training.

TVF: Where did you complete your medical training? Laryngology?
AK: After completing my otolaryngology training at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, I pursued a laryngology fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Zeitels.

TVF: How/why did you come to choose laryngology?
AK: Growing up, I was very active musically. This gave me a natural predilection for patients presenting with voice issues.

TVF: What comes to your mind as one of the most pressing issues in contemporary voice disorders?
AK: Despite some amazing strides in the last few decades, we still need to improve awareness of vocal issues and create a culture that promotes vocal health.

TVF: What are your research interests? Would you tell us in layman’s term, what your research is about? In what ways can your research be applied in the clinical field?
AK: I thoroughly enjoy developing devices to improve phonomicrosurgical training. Residents struggle to accrue significant time operating on vocal folds under the microscope, and laboratory-based practice allows them to hone their skills in a safe and stress-free environment. I am also active in laryngeal papilloma research.

TVF: Who is your favorite singer?
AK: I’d have to go with Sting. He can make utter gibberish sound cool.

TVF: What is your vocal pet peeve?
AK: Vocal fry. Definitely vocal fry. For me, it’s not about vocal health – it’s purely a pet peeve. People need to put some breath support behind their voice! Imagine a trumpet player doing the equivalent…

TVF: Which vocal myth would you like to dispel?
AK: Vocal myths are a bit like dogma. Best not to mess with dogma.

TVF: Your most memorable voice case?
AK: Probably my first posthemorrhagic polyp as an attending. The case wasn’t complex, but the patient was a young teacher and mother and I remember thinking about the impact that the final voice outcome would have on her life, for better or worse. In training, we tend to get more excited about the high-profile performers and bizarre lesions and risk losing sight of the ‘everyday’ cases that make such a difference in patients’ lives.

TVF: As a laryngologist/surgeon, what keeps you on your toes?
AK: Most certainly training residents and fellows. The academic environment keeps me asking questions and requires me to have some answers!

TVF: What advice would you like to give to the general populace about voice care? How about to the professional voice users?
AK: This is a piece of advice I give to most of my patients, so it can apply to the general populace and professional voice users, alike: Be your own best advocate. Don’t be afraid to take charge of your vocal health – make changes in the workplace, at home and in your pastimes to minimize vocal abuse and keep your voice healthy.

TVF: What sparks “joy” for you as a person?
AK: Spending time with my family and being active. When I had more time for musical pursuits, it was a favorite pastime, but now I live vicariously through my children – turns out they’re both pretty musical!