BY AMANDA VANDENBERG, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Kevin Peng, MD always had an interest in medicine, but it wasn’t until he was an undergraduate that he decided to go to medical school. He chose to pursue the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialty because it was procedure-oriented, which Dr. Peng thought would be more engaging and challenging than a non- procedural specialty like internal medicine.
“I think it’s a little bit of a leap of faith. You’re thinking about your future, but you’re still seeing things from the perspective of a medical student. You don’t fully understand the exact scope of the work until you start doing it, until you know the ins and outs of the daily routine.”
Dr. Peng came to the House Institute for his clinical fellowship and decided to stay. He has been practicing at the House Ear Clinic ever since. During a typical week, he splits his time between the clinic and the operating room. On clinic days, Dr. Peng meets with both pediatric and adult patients, doing minor procedures in the afternoon. Surgery days begin at 7:30 am, and Dr. Peng will complete two to six surgeries with a mixture of inpatient and outpatient procedures. He says he finds working with children especially rewarding.
“We’re making a difference early in somebody’s life to provide what I think is sort of an essential skill, trying to help them hear as well as they possibly can and give them every advantage and opportunity available to them.”
He recalls one patient, a young child of just ten months old with hearing loss in both ears. After receiving bilateral cochlear implants, the child began to process sound. Dr. Peng says that the young patient achieved all the milestones at the same pace as his age mates. “This is a result that we always find super gratifying.”
Dr. Peng also understands that a trip to the doctor is probably not most kids’ idea of fun. To help win them over, he appeals to their curiosity and interest in science. “We like to show kids their own ear on the screens, what it looks like on the inside. Most people haven’t seen that, so even adults find it interesting.”
Ahead of the highly anticipated opening of the House Children’s Hearing Center, Dr. Peng is looking forward to having a facility offering comprehensive services for young patients for all their hearing needs. “The patients and parents get the peace of mind of having a clinic dedicated to treatment and research specially dedicated to pediatric patients.”