Education Residency People

Q&A with Chief Resident Avi Ettyreddy

Avi Ettyreddy, MD, and fiance Katrina Han, MD, on a road trip along California State Route 1.

What attracted you to medicine and specifically to ENT?  

Avi Ettyreddy, MD

My interest in medicine started at a fairly young age. Both of my parents work in the biomedical industry, so I was exposed to medicine and science growing up.  As I went through high school and college, I worked with mentors in the field of hematology and oncology. I was so impressed by the interactions and relationships they had with their patients. That convinced me that medicine was the right fit because it gave me the opportunity to meld my interest in science with patient care.  

When I started medical school, I really had no idea what kind of doctor I wanted to be. I shadowed physicians in various fields and became interested in the surgical subspecialities. I enjoyed being able to identify a specific problem and plan an intervention that would immediately address it. ENT was the perfect fit for me for several reasons. I really enjoyed the complex anatomy of the head and neck, and there was a good mix of clinic and operating room procedures. The specialty also allowed the opportunity to work with both pediatric and adult patients.  

Do you favor a specific sub-specialty yet? 

Now that I am towards the end of my residency training, I am planning to pursue a fellowship in neurotology, which focuses on hearing and balance disorders. Restoring a patient’s hearing was one of the most rewarding experiences that I had during residency. There are also tremendous advancements in the field of hearing rehabilitation that I am very excited to be a part of.  

What aspect of medicine do you enjoy most? 

I was initially drawn to medicine because of the physician-patient relationships I witnessed. Despite the long hours that we work, patients are very grateful for what we do, and it is definitely the most rewarding aspect of being in this profession.  

From left: Katrina, Avi, and fellow residents Ben Wahle and Pawina Jiramongkolchai, after a run in Forest Park.

What do you most enjoy about St. Louis? 

Living in St. Louis has actually been a pleasant surprise. I have really enjoyed my five years here. It is a very affordable city with a surprising number of activities. I currently live in the Central West End, and I would have to say that Forest Park is one of the best things about living here. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I enjoy spending time with my fiancé who is an endocrinology fellow here. We are both very active, and you can usually find us running in Forest Park or playing basketball/tennis. We are currently deep into the wedding planning process, so that is definitely taking up a good chunk of our time! 

Do you have a favorite quote, book, movie…and why? 

One of my favorite books is “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig. It is a philosophical book that explores the meaning of “quality”. I read it in high school, and it really stuck with me. On a lighter note, I love fantasy novels – I have read the Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings more times than I can count.