Published on May 8, 2016
There are many people involved in a "voice team." Here is a very talented woman in laryngology, Jaime Engholdt, PA-C. #fellowshipofthelarynx
TVF: Where do you currently practice?
JE: I currently practice at Mayo Clinic Arizona.
TVF: Where did you complete your medical training?
JE: I completed my Masters in Physician Assistant studies at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona. I then went on to complete a one-year post-graduate fellowship in Otolaryngology at Mayo Clinic Arizona.
TVF: How/why did you come to choose laryngology?
JE: When I finished my Otolaryngology PA fellowship, Mayo Clinic had just hired Dr. David Lott, our staff laryngologist. I spend four out the five days per week in laryngology working with Dr. Lott and the voice team. This is a fascinating field as there are multiple areas we address including airway, swallowing and voice disorders. It is very challenging and rewarding.
TVF: What is your role as a Physician Assistant in the laryngology practice? Do you have other roles in the Otolaryngology department?
JE: I perform a comprehensive history and physical exam including laryngoscopy (an exam using a scope to visualize the laryngeal structures) on patients who present to our laryngology clinic. I, then, present their cases to Dr. Lott who will subsequently see the patient and discuss treatment options. I also act as a first assist in the operating room helping Dr. Lott operate as well as close wounds when necessary. I help to set up the surgical equipment, coordinate surgical orders, and “round” on patients in the hospital as well as help manage their post-operative care. I also help with some of the administrative tasks such as placing pre-operative orders, managing Dr. Lott’s schedule, answering patient phone calls and review test results with patients. Patients will also see me in the clinic post-operatively for wound checks and laryngoscopy to assure proper healing. I am also the transplant coordinator for our laryngotracheal transplant program which is nearly up and running. I will help to educate patients about the program and what to expect from a life-long perspective. I will also be participating in the harvests and transplantation of organ(s) alongside Dr. Lott and our head and neck colleagues.
Outside of the laryngology practice, I run my own independent clinic seeing general otolaryngology patients with any type of ear, nose, or throat complaint. I prescribe medications, order and interpret tests and recommend treatment plans.
TVF: Who is your favorite singer?
JE: It is very difficult to select one singer. I very much enjoy pop music, country, 90s alternative, dubstep and jazz. If I had to pick a few artists, I would say Lindsey Stirling for her amazing violin skills with an edge, Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder as a solo artist, Skrillex, Celine Dion for her amazing vocals, Chris Botti, and Justin Bieber.
TVF: What type of laryngology disorder do you find most rewarding to treat?
JE: Laryngeal cancer. We see many patients from around the US and internationally. There are some unfortunate cases we see where the patients may have been mismanaged. In certain cases, unnecessary treatments are recommended. Many patients seek our opinion for larynx sparing treatment. I feel fortunate to work at a place like Mayo Clinic where we have very skilled surgeons with incredible experience well versed in the literature. Many times, we are able to offer this for patients. This topic is also one of personal nature. My father had an early stage vocal cord cancer. With the experience and expertise of Dr. Lott, he was able to be treated with an in office laser to remove his cancer. Although, technically not cured as of yet, he has been tumor free for 3 years. The technology and awareness of other treatments, spared him from undergoing radiation treatment that can cause many problems with swallowing and phonation later in life.
TVF: What is the most common laryngeal disorder you treat?
JE: Chronic cough is a very common disorder I see both with Dr. Lott and in my own PA clinic. Patients often come to us with a history of chronic cough for months to years. They have often been to many providers including pulmonologists, allergists, gastroenterologists, speech pathologists, cardiologists and ear, nose and throat providers. They have tried many treatments which have been unsuccessful. Because we see this disorder so frequently, we have been able to help many patients. This disorder can often be socially limiting where patients avoid leaving the home due to criticism and because others think they are ill. We have a treatment approach which has proved to be successful in many cases. The patients are very appreciative as they feel they have been given their life back. I have even presented on this topic to laryngologists and pulmonologists.
TVF: What sparks “joy” for you as a person?
JE: My family, my dog and cats, traveling, being active in hiking, weight lifting, eating healthy, and driving fast cars!