Message From The Chairman

Message From The Chairman

Cleveland Clinic’s Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Residency Program has an illustrious history, and our staff continues that legacy today, performing incredible surgeries, managing complex cases and caring for a high volume of patients. Our comprehensive, multidisciplinary institute is comprised of physicians who care for a full range of disorders, working together with complementary medical specialties. This institute model means collaboration, not competition — creating an environment where we share knowledge and expertise to achieve excellence in education, research and patient outcomes.

Our goal is to be the very best program in the U.S. for otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, and our commitment to this is resolute. Delivering the highest level of patient safety, quality and experience is our guiding principle for every decision and every action — every day. I’m excited to build upon this impressive foundation and help usher our program into the future.

We know our strength lies in our people, which is why we’re looking for the best of the best to join our team. We’re looking for residents with exceptional surgical skills who desire to innovate and find better, more efficient ways to deliver care — those who want to lead the field, not just be a part of it.

Cleveland Clinic’s care model, clinical excellence and operational competency is singularly unique among academic medical centers, and I believe it leaves us well positioned to thrive in this new era of medicine. It's a privilege to be leading this group and working together to deliver the best possible experience for our patients.

Hear from our residents about the program and living in Cleveland on our Head and Neck Innovations podcast:

Resident Training Leadership

Kyra Osbourne, MD
Kyra Osborne, MD
Program Director

Swathi Appachi, MD
Swathi Appachi, MD
Associate Program Director

Mamie Higgins, MD
Mamie Higgins, MD
Associate Program Director

Resident Training Program Contact

Christine Fleckenstein
Program Coordinator
Cleveland Clinic
9500 Euclid Avenue A71
Cleveland, Ohio 44195
800.223.2273, ex. 44949

Diversity & Inclusion

Discover the role diversity and inclusion plays at Cleveland Clinic and at its Graduate Medical Education program, as well as our diversity and inclusion efforts.

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Our curriculum can be broken down into four components:


Resident rotations are subspecialty-specific. This subspecialty focus allows for in-depth exploration within each area of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. We are concentrated in one main hospital for our inpatient care. We have a single site that we cover for call.


Weekly educational sessions are led by both staff and residents. These sessions have been designed to create an interactive learning environment rather than routine PowerPoint presentations. Also included in didactics are six cadaver dissection labs per year. Lectures and practice of head and neck procedures in the lab helps our trainees once they reach the operating room.


Our faculty have created courses and workshops for more educational activities to help advance resident surgical and procedural skills. Sessions on soft tissue handling, endoscopic sinus surgery, microvascular flaps and botox/injectables have recently been presented by our faculty.


Residents are scheduled for three months of research during the PGY3 year. By the third year of training, residents have enough exposure to otolaryngology-head and neck surgery to form research questions. Many of our residents have leanings towards a subspecialty interest and perform research in these areas. Our program will pay for travel for to up to two meetings per year if research is accepted for presentation at a regional or national meeting.

Current Residents

Current Residents

2023-2024 Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Residents

Chief Residents (PGY5)

Kash Arianpour
Kash Arianpour

Where I'm From: Tehran, Iran
Education: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Alto Saxophone, basketball, hiking, cooking/baking (Persian Food), bike riding, tennis, and spending time with my girlfriend and her dog.

Stephen Hadford
Stephen Hadford

Where I'm From: Falls Church, Virginia
Education: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Hobbies & Interests: Spending time with my wife and four children, waterfowl hunting, fishing, hiking and camping, skiing, ice hockey, and soccer.

Kevin Liang
Kevin Liang

Where I'm From: Boston, Massachusetts
Education: University of Massachusetts Medical School
Hobbies & Interests: Recreational sports (volleyball, softball, football, ultimate Frisbee), cooking, traveling, food tours, spending time with family, and cheering on my local sports teams. Also spending time with my wife, my dog Miso and the residents.

David Zimmer
David Zimmer

Where I'm From: West Lafayette, Indiana
Education: Indiana University School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: I enjoy being active and spending time with my friends and family. I also enjoy hiking, camping, traveling, and exploring. I am a big sports fan and love to watch college football and the Chicago Cubs. I have run the Chicago Marathon twice and try to find time to run outside, no matter the weather. I like to visit new places and try different foods. I'm always excited to try something that I have not experienced before.

PGY4 Residents

Malek Bouzaher
Malek Bouzaher

Where I'm From: Ames, Iowa
Education: Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Travel, cooking (especially Mediterranean and Thai food), fitness, weightlifting, and sports (soccer, tennis, and volleyball). I also like reading (especially Greek & Roman history), outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, and trail running), and acoustic fingerstyle guitar (favorite artists include Andy Mckee, Don Ross, and Antoine Dufour).

Emily Zhang
Emily Zhang

Where I'm From: Terre Haute, Indiana
Education: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Cooking, hiking, weightlifting, calligraphy/painting, and board games.

PGY3 Residents

Lacey Magee
Lacey Magee

Where I'm From: New Jersey
Education: Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Hobbies & Interests: Playing and teaching piano, writing, Irish Step Dancing, trapeze artistry, and running.

Margaret (Maggie) Michel
Margaret (Maggie) Parkhurst

Where I'm From: Washington, D.C.
Education: George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Hobbies & Interests: Watching Washington Capitals games with my husband, going on walks with my dog Lola, golfing with family and friends, making chili in the fall, and exploring local restaurants.

Kathrine Miller
Katherine Miller

Where I'm From: Broomfield, Colorado
Education: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Acrylic painting, running, and gardening.

Amit Nag
Amit Nag

Where I'm From: Crawfordsville, Indiana
Education: Indiana University School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Puzzles - I enjoy various puzzles including crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaw puzzles, and Rubik's cubes. Basketball - I enjoy both playing and following basketball (primarily NBA and March Madness). Also, current Events, foosball, and spending time with my girlfriend and the other residents.

PGY2 Residents

Sarah Benyo
Sarah Benyo

Where I'm From: Binghamton, New York
Education: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Traveling with my family, hiking, running, Peloton, trying different restaurants around Cleveland, eating Mitchell's ice cream, and watching the Buffalo Bills on football Sundays.

Conrad Blunck
Conrad Blunck

Where I'm From: Mobile, Alabama
Education: University of Alabama School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Carpentry and construction - I continue to practice this trade doing remodel projects of various sizes for clients' and my own home, as well as furniture making. Whitewater kayaking and rock climbing in various locations across the United States. Also farming and agroecology.

Mark Liu
Mark Liu

Where I'm From: Kingston, Ontario
Education: University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Creative writing, languages, investing, reading, history, philosophy, hiking, swimming, and drawing.

David Octeau 
David Octeau

Where I'm From: Montreal, Quebec
Education: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Hobbies & Interests: Hiking, camping, cooking, video games, podcasts, and woodworking.

PGY1 Residents

Philip Brauer
Philip Brauer

Where I'm From: Greenwich, Connecticut
Education: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: I enjoy skiing and golf and played squash in college. My fiancé and I love hiking, going for runs and cooking together.

Rushi Patel
Rushi Patel

Where I'm From: Denville, NJ
Education: Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Traveling, recreational sports, board games, Fantasy Football, video games, and trying out different restaurants.

Benjamin Wajsberg
Benjamin Wajsberg

Where I'm From: Antwerp, Belgium
Education: Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, NY)
Hobbies & Interests: Hiking, baking pastries, aviation enthusiast and hanging out with my wife and daughter.

Richard Wu
Richard Wu

Where I'm From: Jacksonville, FL
Education: Florida State University College of Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: Any racquet sport – huge tennis fan, but pickleball is quickly climbing the ranks. Really enjoy cooking (mainly Japanese and Italian), making espresso, learning new board games, and playing Mario Kart with friends. I also have a bunny named Kodi who likes to wreak havoc wherever she goes.



Comprehensive Otolaryngology

Facial Plastics and Reconstruction

Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology


Otology and Neurotology

Pediatric Otolaryngology

Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery

Surgical Sleep and Snoring

Resident Alumni

Resident Alumni

Class of 2023

Daniel Hewes, MD
Comprehensive Practice: Kaiser Permanente

Suat Kilic, MD
Fellowship: Rhinology, University of Miami

Firas Sbeih, MD
Fellowship: Rhinology, Mass Eye and Ear

Class of 2022

Kevin Grafmiller, MD
Fellowship: Rhinology, UCLA

Sara Liu, MD
Fellowship: Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of Minnesota

Chenge Mahomva, MD
Fellowship: Rhinology, University of Utah

Darrell Wright, MD
Private Practice: Washington, D.C.

Class of 2021

Kevin Contrera, MD
Fellowship: Head & Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Microvascular Surgery, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Joseph Meleca, MD
Assistant Professor, Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of Chicago Medical Center

William Tierney, MD
Staff: Laryngology, Cleveland Clinic

Class of 2020

Rebecca Chota-Nelson, MD
Fellowship: Laryngology, Oregon Head & Science University

Andrea Hanick, MD
Fellowship: Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Washington University

Katie Mingo, MD
Private Practice: Bemidji, MN

Janki Shah, MD
Fellowship: Rhinology & Skull Base, Mount Sinai

Class of 2019

Swathi Appachi, MD
Fellowship: Pediatric Otolaryngology, Texas Children’s Hospital

Rhorie Kerr, MD
Fellowship: Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles

Dennis Tang, MD
Fellowship: Rhinology & Skull Base, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Class of 2018

Peter Ciolek, MD    
Fellowship: Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University

Gabrial Gabarain, MD
Private Practice: Riverside, CA

Blake Smith, MD
Private Practice: Atlanta, GA

Class of 2017

Conor Devine, MD
Fellowship: Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Samual Trosman, MD
Fellowship: Head & Neck Surgery, University of Miami

Mingsi Li, MD
Fellowship: Rhinology & Skull Base, Medical College of Georgia

Class of 2016

Suhael Momin, MD
Fellowship: Head & Neck Surgery, University of South Carolina

Karthik Rajasekaran, MD
Fellowship: Head & Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania

Duc Tien, MD

Fellowship: Rhinology & Skull Base

Living in Cleveland

Living in Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio, may be one of the best kept secrets in the U.S. The city offers a wide array of neighborhoods and housing opportunities at an incredibly affordable price. Our residents live in downtown apartments and condos as well as houses in neighborhoods surrounding Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. Please visit the GME website for information about our Student Housing Program.

An ethnically diverse, mid-sized city located on Lake Erie, Cleveland features a host of cultural attractions, recreational activities, major sporting events and an exploding culinary scene. Cleveland is home to the second largest theater district in the U.S. and it is the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll, home to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Cleveland Clinic is located near the University Circle area, which is the cultural epicenter of Cleveland. This area features Severance Hall and the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art (free to the public), several other museums, and Case Western Reserve University. Downtown Cleveland, home to all major sports venues, an exploding culinary scene and more than 33 breweries, is approximately two miles from Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. Cleveland Metroparks offers more than 300 miles of biking, hiking, and horse trails throughout 23,700 acres of land, and the city has numerous beaches where you can swim, kayak, paddleboard, rent boats, or bring your dogs.

Our residents spend a great deal of time and energy learning to be surgeons and providing world class care to our patients. They consider it a special privilege to be able to spend their free time exploring a city that is accessible, affordable, and filled with all of their favorite activities.



What health insurance benefits do residents receive?

Cleveland Clinic offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, maternity/paternity leave, vacation and more.

Residents are able to choose from various Health Plans, Prescription Plans, Dental and Vision Coverage. The cost of these benefits depend on single vs. family coverage and which tier is selected within the chosen plan.

What is the salary structure for residents?

Learn about salary and other financial highlights.

Is there space on campus for resident use during the work day and on call?

Yes! There is an otolaryngology-head and neck surgery resident room in which each resident gets their own cubicle with a desktop computer. There are also several resident work areas on campus, including an area with several conference rooms with large flat-screen TVs and coffee machines just outside the operating rooms. There is a call room with a bed, computer and phone a short walk away from the inpatient floors with an adjacent bathroom and shower.

Is there resident support for attendance at national meetings?

Yes. Graduate Medical Education and/or the Head & Neck Institute will fully finance attendance at 2 national meetings per year for residents who are presenting either an oral presentation or a poster.

Are there mid-level providers on the Head and Neck team?

Yes. There are multiple nurse practitioners who see patients in clinics Monday through Friday. They work specifically within the pediatrics, rhinology, and otology departments that assist with surgical scheduling, returning phone calls and outpatient clinics.

What fellows are present at Cleveland Clinic and how do they interact with residents?

Our Head & Neck Institute includes a Head and Neck Oncology fellow, a Facial Plastics and Reconstruction fellow, a Rhinology fellow, and a Laryngology fellow. Fellows add to the educational environment by working closely with our staff and residents to maximize educational opportunities. Fellows have allowed staff surgeons to add to their daily operative schedule, and each fellowship director has continuously emphasized the importance of resident tutelage and education. Fellows also allow for expedient staffing of inpatient and tracheostomy consults.

Where do the residents live?

Residents live in a variety of neighborhoods spanning across the east and west sides of Cleveland. Please visit the GME website for more information about living in Cleveland.

How is life outside of work in Cleveland?

Cleveland has wonderful food, sports, arts and culture. Learn more about the city. If you’re looking for something to do during a visit, check out ThisIsCleveland for some ideas. The program and institute also sponsor a number of social activities throughout the year. The House Staff Association and House Staff Spouse Association organize several events throughout the year to promote well-being and camaraderie among residents of different specialties.