Appointment of D. Gregory Farwell, MD, FACS as Chair of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

March 25, 2021

To:Faculty, Students, and Staff

From:J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Dean, Perelman School of Medicine
EVP, University of Pennsylvania for the Health System

Kevin B. Mahoney
CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Deborah A. Driscoll, MD
SVP, Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania

We are pleased to announce the appointment of D. Gregory Farwell, MD, FACS, as Chair of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Penn Medicine. Dr. Farwell is a nationally recognized surgeon specializing in head and neck cancers, thyroid and parathyroid surgeries and microvascular reconstruction. He is currently Chair of the Department Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, Davis. He will assume his new role in Summer 2021 with an effective date to be finalized soon.

Dr. Farwell has spent the past 17 years at UC Davis, serving as Chair since 2017, following two years as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs. A distinguished clinical innovator and NIH-funded investigator, his work developing novel surgical approaches and non-invasive diagnostic tools for image-guided surgery has spanned from bench to bedside. As Chair, UC Davis increased the number of new clinical research protocols in his department by more than 20 percent during his tenure.

Dr. Farwell also brings to Penn Medicine a commitment to creative approaches to medical education and training. He has a demonstrated track record of increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities among both faculty and trainees in his department, along with work to develop programs to provide STEM education to URM high school students.

 In addition to his clinical service, research, and teaching, Dr. Farwell has held key administrative and national leadership posts, including as Vice Chief of Staff of the Health System at UC Davis and as Vice Chair of the Council of Chairs, among other roles. He is skilled at working across disciplines with other clinical and administrative leaders, including coordination of the UC Davis COVID response and the reorganization of the UC Davis Medical Group. He has held many roles within the international surgical educational organization, AO Foundation, and serves as Vice Chair of the Patient Care Division for the American Head and Neck Society and on the Board of the Association of Academic Departments of Otolaryngology.

Dr. Farwell received his bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Drury University in Springfield, MO, and is a graduate of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He completed his training in Seattle, with a surgical internship in the department of Surgery at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle and a research fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, followed by residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington. He began his faculty career at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center before joining UC Davis in 2004.

Dr. Farwell’s appointment follows a national search led by Dr. Sean Grady. We are grateful to Dr. Grady and the Search Committee for their commitment to recruiting an exceptional leader to continue the long history of Otorhinolaryngology excellence of Penn Medicine following the tenure of Bert W. O’Malley, Jr., MD, who is now the president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center.

We would also like to extend our deep appreciation to Erica Thaler, MD, for her leadership as interim chair following Dr. O’Malley’s transition.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Farwell on his appointment and welcoming him to Penn Medicine.