Erica R. Thaler, MD, FACS, Named Interim Chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery

September 18, 2020

To:Penn Medicine Faculty, Students, and Staff

From:J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Kevin B. Mahoney
Deborah A. Driscoll, MD

We are pleased to announce that Erica R. Thaler, MD, FACS, will serve as interim Chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (Oto-HNS) as we begin a national search for a successor to Dr. Bert O’Malley. Dr. Thaler will assume the role of interim Chair on October 1, 2020.

Dr. Thaler has been a standing faculty member in the Department since 1995 and currently serves as Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion and Director of the Division of General Otorhinolaryngology. Among numerous other leadership roles, she also serves as Director of Otorhinolaryngology Outpatient Surgical Practices, Director of the Department’s Committee on Appointments and Promotions, and co-chair of the Professionalism Committee.

Dr. Thaler’s research and clinical expertise focuses on the complex management of patients with chronic sinusitis and patients with CPAP intolerant Obstructive Sleep Apnea. She has also done pioneering research in the medical applications of electronic nose technology. In addition, she specializes in patients with thyroid and parotid masses requiring surgery, and other head and neck disorders, including diverticula of the esophagus. She has published over 100 peer reviewed papers and book chapters on these topics.

Dr. Thaler is Associate Editor of Comprehensive Otolaryngology for Laryngoscope, has been a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Rhinology, and is a reviewer for Lancet and other scholarly journals. She has served in leadership roles in several national Otorhinolaryngology societies, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, the American Rhinologic Association, and the Society of University Otolaryngologists. Dr. Thaler is a Board examiner for the American Board of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and is a recipient of numerous professional awards and honors.

We will convene a search committee this fall for the next Chair of Oto-HNS, which Dr. Sean Grady has agreed to chair. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Thaler on her new appointment and thanking her for taking on this interim role.