Dr. Adriane Latz, M.D.
Dr. Adriane Latz, M.D. | Otolaryngology/ENT | Children’s Mercy
What is the most exciting research or innovation in your field?
▷Vaccines. There have been many vaccines that have changed the field of otolaryngology. Vaccines for influenza, Strep pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, Haemophilus B influenzae, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox — they all have been game changers for our field. Now, we have the HPV vaccine.
▷It has reduced the recurrent laryngeal papilloma incidence by half. It’s also reduced cervical cancer rates dramatically and should help reduce head and neck cancer rates in time. It can be given to children as young as 9 years old and is recommended at 11 to 12 years of age, but it can be given after that age if needed. Seventy-nine million Americans are infected with HPV, and Kansas and Missouri have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation.
Why did you choose this specialty?
▷I chose otolaryngology because of the variety there is in the field. I love treating children both medically and surgically. I like to treat the whole patient — the enlarged tonsils, the poor sleep quality, the hearing loss — to help them succeed and do their best in life. I originally wanted to be a pediatrician, and I think it shows in my care of my patients for better or worse. I enjoy collaborating with primary care and specialists in my treatment plans. I love the constant learning; the children are always teaching me something new. There is nothing more gratifying than helping a child eat and drink more safely or breathe, hear and communicate better.
What career would you have chosen if you weren’t a doctor?
▷I would be a teacher or a stay-at-home mom. I would volunteer in underprivileged schools. I have a passion for children in general, and I want them to succeed. I could see myself advocating for better dyslexia screening and treatment in the schools. Schools have a lot to learn about dyslexia and could eliminate the barriers by teaching reading with a multi-sensory approach. Our experience of having a daughter with dyslexia has changed me as a doctor and as an advocate for children in general.
What has been your most memorable or challenging case?
▷It’s the emergent airways that happen from time to time. I never forget my families that have been through life-and-death situations. I treat my patients as if they were my own children. It takes a village, and I feel I am part of the village.