Carly Clark, MD, a second-year resident in the UK College of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, has gained valuable experience in her graduate medical education program.

Dr. Clark pursued her specialty because she loves the variety of cases that otolaryngology has to offer, and at UK, she sees a variety of complex cases. “I get to see a breadth of disease in both the location of the problem and in the patient population we treat,” she said. “As a future otolaryngologist, I could perform skull base sinus surgery on an adult and remove a congenital neck mass from a toddler in the same day.”

She also is able to work on impactful grant-funded projects, including one alongside Nikita Gupta, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology and associate residency program director. Supported by the Women in Otolaryngology Endowment Fund under the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, the project has allowed their team to create a web module with instructional videos disseminating information pertaining to female surgeons who want to breastfeed after returning to work.

So far, they have filmed short videos and are collecting tips from experienced surgeons in order to build a library of information for future generations.

“We hope this resource will provide solutions for some of the obstacles female surgeons face,” Dr. Clark said.

With her interest in science and math, Dr. Clark always considered a profession in health care. After shadowing domestically and abroad, she decided she wanted to be a surgeon. “It seemed like the perfect fit to use my passion for learning and connection with people to improve patients' quality of life,” she said.

In the future, she hopes to work in a community setting. Having not met a female surgeon until she was in medical school, she would like to mentor students in her future practice and introduce them to medicine early.

“I think it is important to expose young people to medicine and all the team members that make health care work,” she said.