Episode 20

Complete Cleft Care & Choosing Your Own Adventure

with Dr. Steven Goudy

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2021, April 13). Ep. 20 – Complete Cleft Care & Choosing Your Own Adventure [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

We talk with Steven Goudy MD, MBA about his clinical practice and research emphasis on cleft palate care in children at Emory Healthcare, as well as some tips on trying projects/adventures outside of clinical medicine.

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Podcast Participants

Dr. Steven Goudy

Dr. Steven Goudy is the Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology and Professor at Emory University. He is also the CEO and Founder Dr. Nozebest.

Dr. Gopi Shah

Host Dr. Gopi Shah is a practicing ENT at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.

Dr. Ashley Agan

Co-host Dr. Ashley Agan is a practicing ENT and assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.

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Show Notes

In this episode, pediatric otolaryngologist Dr. Steven Goudy joins Dr. Gopi Shah and Dr. Ashley Agan to discuss diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, and family education for children with cleft lips and cleft palates.

To start, we define cleft lip and cleft palate based on abnormalities in fetal developments. Then, we cover the timeline for identification and treatment of these conditions. Dr. Goudy emphasizes that cleft lip and cleft palate can have a large effect on basic needs such as feeding. While cleft lip repair can be performed early, it is best to wait until the 1-year mark for cleft palate repair. We discuss treatment of different variations of these conditions, including incomplete and bilateral cleft lips. As we move into post-surgical care, we cover Eustachian tube dysfunctions and post-surgical hearing screenings. Dr. Goudy also discusses co-morbid issues and the process of counseling families through genetic testing.

Dr. Goudy highlights the importance of multidisciplinary care. Within his cleft clinic, the surgeons work with audiologists, speech pathologists, geneticists, dentists, and social workers. He discusses barriers to care for patients who live in rural areas and how his team works to overcome them.

Finally, Dr. Goudy describes his own adventure in medicine, which extends beyond treating cleft lip and cleft palate. As he shares how he got started in translational research, he gives tips for assembling a research team and finding good mentors. He also explains how he addresses common parent concerns by starting a pediatric nasal suction device company, Dr. Noze Best.

Resources Mentioned:

American Cleft Palate Association-

Babies Can’t Wait-
Georgia’s early intervention program that offers a variety of coordinated services for infants and toddlers with special needs.

Dr. Noze Best-

Transcript Preview

[Dr. Gopi Shah]
For somebody who’s starting out, like they're finishing their residency or they’re within the first two to five years of their career, how would they actually get into translational research? How do you develop a research team?

[Dr. Steven Goudy]
I think there are a couple components. Number one, you need a little bit of training or exposure. It can be formally or informally, just so you understand what it is that you're doing and why you are doing it. You have to have mentorship. Mentorship is so important and some of my successes and failures have been tied to having good mentorship or not having good mentorship. If you don't have good mentorship and you don't have somebody who's going to fight for you and knock down the walls that you're approaching, then you're not going to make it. There are lots of ways that you can find your path, but if you really want to go into a field where you're going to spend months and months writing a grant that only has a 5-10% chance of getting funded, you have to love rejection and have good mentorship. This means having somebody patting you on the back and pushing you up the hill over and over. It's almost like Don Quixote attacking windmills. Having said that, I wrote 18 R01 grants just to get one.

Not to be super wonky, but if you do a Birkman personality assessment, you can learn more about yourself. I finally realized that scientific curiosity actually is relaxing to me and that's why I gravitated to it. If you do a self assessment, whatever that is, and you find out that you're set on doing something that stresses you out, you need to think about that.

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Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable ENT Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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