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David O. Francis, MD

Surgical Services

Contact Dr. Francis


(608) 262-8693

600 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53792-0001

David O. Francis, MD

Assistant Professor
Director of Outcomes Research
Section of Laryngology and Voice Surgery

Division of Otolaryngology

Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program


  • BA, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, 1999
  • MS – Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH, 2000
  • MD – University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, NY 2004
  • General Surgery Internship, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2004 – 2005
  • Research Fellowship (NIH T32) – University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2005 – 2006
  • Residency, Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle WA 2006 – 2010
  • Fellowship, Laryngology and Care of Professional Voice, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 2010 – 2011

Clinical Specialties

Dr. Francis is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and has high-level specialty training in the care of voice, airway, and swallowing disorders. He has extensive experience with both the medical and surgical care of professional voice users, management of neurological disorders of the voice including vocal fold paralysis and laryngeal dystonias (e.g., spasmodic dysphonia, laryngeal tremor). He has expertise in managing infectious diseases of the larynx, airway stenosis, and dysphagia. He has a patient-centric approach to caring for patients and strongly believes that “listening to the patient is central to personalized care” and that one-size does not fit all when managing voice, swallowing, and airway disorders. He also recognizes that the care of voice, swallowing, and breathing disorders requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes close collaborations with speech-language pathology, pulmonary, gastroenterology, allergy, thoracic surgery, and neurology among others.

Dr. Francis provides a wide range of services including Airway Dilation, Airway Reconstruction, Arytenoid Adduction, Cricopharyngeal myotomy, Endoscopic Partial Laryngectomy, Laryngeal Papilloma Laser Treatment, Laryngoplasty/thyroplasty, Laser Procedures, Microflap excision of vocal fold lesions, Microlaryngoscopy, Thyroidectomy, Transnasal Esophagoscopy (TNE), Vocal Fold Injection, and Zenker's Diverticulectomy.

Research Interests

Dr. Francis directs the Otolaryngology Outcomes Research group and is a member of the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program (WiSOR), and is nationally recognized as a leader in Health Services Research. His research focuses on a patient-centered approach to personalizing and improving the care of patients with ear, nose, and throat disorders. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

His primary areas of study involve 1) understanding reasons surrounding geographic variations in care, 2) promoting prevention of iatrogenic vocal fold paralysis, 3) understanding the patient experience living with unilateral vocal fold paralysis, 4) development of new measurement tools to measure disability related to unilateral vocal fold paralysis, and 5) developing novel treatments and comparing their effectiveness in improving the care of patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis. His research team consists of experts in health policy, population health, health service research, epidemiology, clinical trials, measurement theory, and scientists with expertise in peripheral nerve regeneration.

Recent Publications
  • Nationwide Variation in Rates of Thyroidectomy Among US Medicare Beneficiaries.
    Francis DO, Randolph G, Davies L
    JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2017 Nov 01; 143(11):1122-1125.
    [PubMed ID: 29049468]
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  • The relationship between social determinants of health and utilization of tertiary rhinology care.
    Samuelson MB, Chandra RK, Turner JH, Russell PT, Francis DO
    Am J Rhinol Allergy 2017 Nov 01; 31(6):376-381.
    [PubMed ID: 29122082, PMC ID: 5691238]
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  • A Case Series of the Probability Density and Cumulative Distribution of Laryngeal Disease in a Tertiary Care Voice Center.
    de la Fuente J, Garrett CG, Ossoff R, Vinson K, Francis DO, Gelbard A
    Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. 2017 Nov; 126(11):748-754.
    [PubMed ID: 28949246]
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  • Dexamethasone Without Antibiotics for Sore Throat.
    Francis DO, Merati AL
    JAMA 2017 08 22; 318(8):753.
    [PubMed ID: 28829865]
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  • Beyond Phonosurgery: Considerations for Patient-Reported Outcomes and Speech Therapy in Transgender Vocal Feminization.
    Morrison SD, Crowe CS, Rashidi V, Massie JP, Chaiet SR, Francis DO
    Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2017 Aug; 157(2):349.
    [PubMed ID: 28762303]
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  • Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Upper Airway-Related Dyspnea: A Systematic Review.
    Noud M, Hovis K, Gelbard A, Sathe NA, Penson DF, Feurer ID, McPheeters ML, Francis DO
    JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2017 Aug 01; 143(8):824-831.
    [PubMed ID: 28594976, PMC ID: 5604091]
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  • Predictive factors for short- and long-term hearing preservation in cochlear implantation with conventional-length electrodes.
    Wanna GB, O'Connell BP, Francis DO, Gifford RH, Hunter JB, Holder JT, Bennett ML, Rivas A, Labadie RF, Haynes DS
    Laryngoscope 2017 Jun 22.
    [PubMed ID: 28643327]
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  • Tonsillectomy Versus Watchful Waiting for Recurrent Throat Infection: A Systematic Review.
    Morad A, Sathe NA, Francis DO, McPheeters ML, Chinnadurai S
    Pediatrics 2017 Feb; 139(2):.
    [PubMed ID: 28096515, PMC ID: 5260157]
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  • Tonsillectomy for Obstructive Sleep-Disordered Breathing: A Meta-analysis.
    Chinnadurai S, Jordan AK, Sathe NA, Fonnesbeck C, McPheeters ML, Francis DO
    Pediatrics 2017 Feb; 139(2):.
    [PubMed ID: 28096514, PMC ID: 5260158]
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