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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!

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