Q&A with Medical Secretary Patty Tampow

phto of Dr. Buchman and Patty Tampow
Lindberg Professor and Chair Craig Buchman, MD, presents Patty Tampow with an award for 35 years of service to the department.

Patty Tampow has retired after 35 years of service to the Department of Otolaryngology. Here she shares her thoughts on the many years of service and some advice for her colleagues.

photo of Patty Tampow and huisband Brian at retirement celebration
Tampow was joined by her husband Brian for a recent retirement celebration.

How would you describe your career in the Department of Otolaryngology?

I was a medical secretary in the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology for 35 years. During that time, I had the opportunity to work directly with three amazing physicians – Harlan Muntz, MD, David Molter, MD, and David Leonard, MBBCh. I also had the pleasure of working with 21 fellows and numerous residents and medical students.

It was a wonderful department to commit 35 years to. I had the privilege of working under three chairmen (Fredrickson, Chole and Buchman) and four pediatric division chiefs (Lusk, Clary, Hirose and Leonard). There’s been tremendous growth and innovation in the department over the last few decades.

What has been the favorite part of your job?

Tampow and husband Brian explore Zion National Park in Utah.

Having a wide variety of duties always kept the job interesting for me.  I served as coordinator for the pediatric otolaryngology fellowship program and the video nasopharyngoscopy lab.  I was also able to help with patient care in many different ways: talking with upset parents; picking up dry ice to mail interferon to juvenile laryngeal papilloma patients; sending out pictures to get surgery approval for lop ear deformity or dog bites; and helping with Visa applications so children could come here to see the best ENT surgeons.  It meant a lot to be able to play a role in helping so many sick children.

Is there a highlight activity or event that stands out?

Being able to help with the sinus endoscopy courses and coordinate the Midwest Pediatric ENT Consortium was a great experience. Volunteering at the COVID vaccine clinic and Pedal the Cause were also memorable events.

What advice would you give to your junior colleagues?

My advice is always do your very best, go the extra mile when needed, and always take pride in your work.

Do you have any special plans for retirement?

I’m looking forward to spending more time with my husband Brian, three children and two granddaughters.  Also hoping to do more traveling, hiking and running.

photo of Tampow family
The Tampow family, from left: son Tyler, Patty, Brian, son Tanner, and daughter Abby with boyfriend Mason and granddaughters Leighton and Rowan.