Our Sub-specialties

Department Chair

  • Eben Rosenthal, MD

    Guy M. Maness Professor and Chair
    Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

General Otolaryngology

Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

Laryngology and the Professional Voice

Otology and Neurotology

Pediatric Otolaryngology

  • Ryan Belcher, MD

    Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

    Ryan H. Belcher, M.D. M.P.H. is originally from Walnut Ridge, AR. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Arkansas and his medical degree at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. He then completed his 5-year otolaryngology-head and neck surgery residency at Emory University with global health honors. During his residency, he participated in a year-long Global Health Scholars Program that included spending a month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, working alongside and teaching their otolaryngology staff and residents. He then completed his pediatric otolaryngology fellowship at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and subsequently joined the faculty as an assistant professor. Due to his passion for global surgery he obtained a Master’s in Public Health from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine with an emphasis in global health.

    Dr. Belcher helped develop and is the Surgical Co-Director of the Vanderbilt Pediatric Thyroid Nodule and Cancer Program as well as a member of the Vanderbilt Cleft and Craniofacial team. His clinical interests are pediatric thyroids, head and neck masses, craniofacial syndromes including cleft lip and palate, velopharyngeal dysfunction and speech outcomes, mandibular distraction, and global health related endeavors. He has published several book chapters and over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles in these clinical areas. His passion for global health has led to performing surgery internationally for cleft lip and palate among other craniofacial syndromes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Cameroon, Philippines, and Mexico. In 2021, Dr. Belcher was named by Nashville Business Journal to their annual 40 under 40 for young professionals in Nashville, TN who are making a difference in their business and community. 

    Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife, Morgan, and their dog, Jolene. He is a Next Generation Board Member for a local healthcare non-profit, Silaom Health, which provides medical care to the local refugee and uninsured of central Tennessee. 

    Healthcare Provider Profile

  • James Phillips, MD

    Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

    Dr. James D. Phillips, MD grew up in Knoxville, TN.  The son of an emergency room physician, healthcare was a career interest from an early age.  Dr. Philips attended Vanderbilt university for undergraduate studies, receiving the Jesse Wills honors scholarship.  Graduating summa cum laude, he continued his studies at Vanderbilt Medical School.  His interest in surgical care of the head and neck led him to pursue residency in otolaryngology head and neck surgery.  He completed residency at the University of Alabama Birmingham and elected to further specialize his training with a two-year fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at the University of Arkansas for the Medical Sciences.  Dr. Phillips returned to Vanderbilt Children’s hospital in 2016 as an assistant professor.  Along with his general pediatric otolaryngology practice, Dr. Phillips has helped to develop robust multidisciplinary clinics for cleft lip and palate as well as vascular anomalies.  He also directs a multidisciplinary conference for the treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency. 

    Dr. Phillips is an active member of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies, and the American Cleft Palate Association.  He has authored or co-authored over fifteen peer reviewed articles as well as various textbook chapters.  He has been an invited lecturer around the country.  Dr. Phillips cares deeply about extending surgical care to the third world and has participated in surgical mission efforts to Guatemala, Haiti, and Mexico. 

    Outside of work, Dr. Phillips enjoys many various outdoor activities with his wife and young children.  He is a diehard Tennessee football fan and a longtime fantasy football enthusiast.  He is a member at Immanuel Church Nashville.

    Healthcare Provider Profile

  • Courtney P. Zimmerman, MSN, RN, CPNP-AC/PC

    Assistant in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

    Courtney Zimmerman, APRN, MSN, CPNP-AC/PC is a Florida native, graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Nursing prior to moving to Nashville in 2012. It was then that she started working on the inpatient pediatric post surgical/trauma unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. It was here that Courtney realized her passion for surgical populations. She gained invaluable experience as a bedside nurse here while completing a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program through the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Having interest in caring for patients in many settings, she obtained a dual certification in both acute and primary care areas of pediatrics. In 2017, she joined the Pediatric Otolaryngology team in the outpatient clinic.

    Currently, Courtney’s practice is based in the Murfreesboro satellite location, where she loves serving patients residing in the southeast region of Tennessee and beyond. Courtney feels that bringing quality care and ambulatory surgeries closer to home for this population is fulfilling and an integral part of community health.

    Outside of work, Courtney is married and recently welcomed her first child last year. Courtney enjoys traveling, exercising and spending time with her family on the lake.

    Healthcare Provider Profile

Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery and Sleep Surgery

  • Rick Chandra, MD, MMHC

    Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
    Fellowship Program Director, Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery
    Endowed Director, Leadership and Education
    Service Chief, Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery
  • David T. Kent, MD

    Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
    Director of Sleep Surgery

    Dr. David Kent is a surgeon-scientist with a clinical and academic career dedicated to the comprehensive management of sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dr. Kent was the first provider in Tennessee to offer hypoglossal nerve stimulation (Inspire) therapy as a treatment option for people with OSA.

    Dr. Kent's research focuses on the neurophysiology of the upper airway, especially mechanisms for control of breathing in OSA. Dr. Kent has recently been awarded more than $4 million from the NIH to study the physiologic effects of ansa cervicalis stimulation (ACS), a novel neurostimulation therapy for sleep apnea first described at VUMC. He has served on multiple committees within the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery related to the worldwide practice of sleep medicine and surgery.

    Healthcare Provider Profile

Research Faculty