Raja A. Atiyah M.D.
I am a fourth-generation physician trained at the American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon and Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL. Over a thirty-year career, I have learned all aspects of academic, administrative and clinical ENT medicine and surgery.
My journey began as the only Lebanese student admitted to the prestigious Otolaryngology residency and fellowship at Northwestern University (NU). I was the only non-US citizen to be awarded the prestigious American Cancer Society Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology (1986). I then became a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS). Over the following 5 years, I was very active in all aspects of research (bench, animal, clinical and literature reviews) as well as administration (e.g. primary coordinator of NU’s OHNS institutional review by US National Board for accreditation of advanced residency programs). I applied and obtained several research grants. I taught residents and surgeons in the classroom, laboratory and operating room. I lectured widely, nationally and internationally. I developed and taught one of earliest courses on sinus surgery with telescopes have been published in my specialty’s leading peer-reviewed periodicals, and have written several chapters on clinical diagnosis and on surgical techniques
In 1990, for personal and academic reasons, I left Northwestern University, and started a private practice in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, which grew very rapidly to include 5 surgeons and 28 employees. I joined the Department of Surgery at Rush Medical School in Chicago and was made Director of Surgical Education. During this period, I joined the board of a charitable foundation, became Vice President of the AUB Alumni Association of North America, and returned to Lebanon most summers to help train the residents at AUB’s Otolaryngology Department.
In 1994, I was asked to create a new Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, which I did. My Departmental affiliation was moved from the Department of Surgery to the Department of Otolaryngology and Bronchoesophagology and I was appointed Chairman of that newly formed Department, which I did for the following 2 years. During that period, I developed a fellowship program for Head and Neck Oncology.
In 1998, for family reasons, I took a leave of absence from my academic appointment and returned to Lebanon, and practiced privately for 5 years.
In 2004, I returned to the United States and chose to experience rural medicine and the care of the less fortunate, a polar opposite of my high-end, gold coast Chicago practice of 15 years. It has been a fascinating, eye-opening experience.
In my spare time I enjoy playing chess and reading non-fiction philosophical and religion based works. I also enjoy carving and turning wood. I have three dogs, a German Shepard named Bobee, a Mini Poodle named BooBoo and a Lab/Collie mix named Zeus.
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