David O. Francis, MD, MS

Associate Professor

  • Associate Director, WiSOR
  • Associate Residency Program Director – Research
  • Section of Laryngology
  • Director of Outcomes Research 
  • Division of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

(608) 262-0395

600 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53792-0001

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, Laser Procedures, Laryngoplasty/thyroplasty, Microflap excision of vocal fold lesions, Microlaryngoscopy, Thyroidectomy, Transnasal Esophagoscopy (TNE), Vocal Fold Injection, 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

  • Association of Patient Characteristics With Postoperative Mortality in Children Undergoing Tonsillectomy in 5 US States.
    Edmonson MB, Zhao Q, Francis DO, Kelly MM, Sklansky DJ, Shadman KA, Coller RJ
    JAMA 2022 06 21; 327(23): 2317-2325
    [PubMed ID: 35727278]

  • Complication Rates of Total Thyroidectomy vs Hemithyroidectomy for Treatment of Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
    Hsiao V, Light TJ, Adil AA, Tao M, Chiu AS, Hitchcock M, Arroyo N, Fernandes-Taylor S, Francis DO
    JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2022 Jun 01; 148(6): 531-539
    [PubMed ID: 35511129]

  • Letter to the Editor: Sensitivity of Palpation for Detection of Thyroid Nodules with Attention to Size.
    Hsiao V, Arroyo N, Fernandes-Taylor S, Chiu AS, Davies L, Francis DO
    Thyroid 2022 05; 32(5): 599-601
    [PubMed ID: 35216527]

  • Clinicodemographic Predictors of Tracheotomy Tube Size and Decannulation: A Multiinstitutional Retrospective Cohort Study on Tracheotomy.
    Panuganti BA, Pang J, Francis DO, Klebaner D, Asturias A, Alattar A, Wood S, Terry M, Bryson PC, Tipton CB, Zhao EE, O'Rourke A, Maria CS, Grimm DR, Sung CK, Lao WP, Thompson JM, Crawley BK, Rosen S, Berezovsky A, Kupfer R, Hennesy TB, Clary M, Joseph IT, Sarhadi K, Kuhn M, Abdel-Aty Y, Kennedy MM, Lott DG, Weissbrod PA
    Ann Surg 2022 Jan 07;
    [PubMed ID: 35001037]

  • Physical Therapy for Muscle Tension Dysphonia with Cervicalgia.
    Tate AD, Tomlinson CA, Francis DO, Wishik ED, Lowery AS, Watkins MO, Stewart TG, Gong WH, Gilbert MR, Garrett CG
    Ear Nose Throat J 2021 Dec 23; 1455613211063239
    [PubMed ID: 34939450]

All Publications on PubMed