How the 'magic' of hearing inspired Dr. Beth McNulty's career

Dr. Beth McNulty
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We caught up with Dr. Beth McNulty, a neurotologist at UK Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, for our latest Making the Rounds interview. Dr. McNulty specializes in treating adults and pediatric patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness and imbalance, chronic ear infections and skull base tumors.

What kinds of conditions do you treat?

I see fairly healthy patients, and I see fairly sick patients. I treat basic problems, such as fluid behind the ear drum that won’t go away, which I can fix fairly simply by placing an ear tube. And then I also treat really complex problems like skull-based tumors that require dissection of the facial nerve and other cranial nerve monitoring. It's really a wide breadth, from very simple problems to very complex issues, and I love that about my work.

How do you relate to your patients?

I want my patients to feel that they’re talking to a friend. Someone who is really, truly listening. I really want to get to the root of their problem and provide counseling and support and help them get through it. I hope they feel like I’m actually listening and that I want what’s best for them.

I grew up on a farm in Western Kentucky, in a small town called Knottsville. I feel like my upbringing provides a unique perspective when I'm reaching out to my patients because I understand where they come from and what it’s going to be like at home for them after surgery.

Why did you choose otolaryngology as a specialty?

It dates back to medical school. I remember specifically the first time that I experienced the restoration of hearing and the magic of hearing. It was a lady who was basically deaf on one side for about 20 years due to scarring on the ear canal. She was trying on a bone-anchored hearing aid, and when the device worked, tears immediately came to her eyes. It was really moving for everybody in the room. And I knew then that that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to work with patients who had a loss of a sense, like hearing, and to be able to bring that back.

What do you do in your spare time?

My husband and I both like to run. We have three children, so he pushes the double running stroller, and I push the single stroller.

And we love going to Jacobson Park, where our kids like to feed the ducks. We have a lot of fun there on the weekends.

Next steps:

  • Learn more about UK Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, which provides comprehensive medical and surgical care of the ear, nose and throat region.
  • Dr. Matthew Bush is a hearing specialist at UK HealthCare who specializes in cochlear implants. Get to know Dr. Bush in our Making the Rounds interview.
This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.

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