March 2022 – Preemie Professional Highlight

Steven Goudy MD, MBA
Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ENT)
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University, Dr. Noze Best

Pediatric ENT is a field where we are privileged to perform medical miracles to improve breathing, give the voiceless a voice and restore hearing. – Dr. Goudy

PREEMIEWORLD:  Why did you choose your current profession?

Dr. Goudy:  Pediatric otolaryngology is a wonderful specialty where I get to see patients in clinic and hospital as well as take care of them in the operating room. Our field involves the management of 3 of the 5 senses (smelling, tasting, hearing) and the intricate anatomy of the ears, sinuses, neck, throat and airways. Research is a big part of my practice and I am focused on developing solutions for unmet patient needs (examples: better nasal aspirator; regenerative approaches to replace missing/damaged tissues). Working at a major children’s hospital allows me to teach the next generation of pediatric providers to ensure that my children and grandchildren will have great care. Collaboration within children’s hospitals is always focused on helping the patient and their families get better and is a unique feature that doesn’t always exist in adult hospital settings.

PREEMIEWORLD:  What do you want other professionals to know about what you do?

Dr. Goudy: Pediatric ENT surgeons diagnose and manage a wide range of clinical conditions that include feeding, breathing, hearing, talking, and swallowing. Overlap exists between pediatric ENT and other specialties for conditions like tongue tie, cough, and cleft lip and palate care so consulting with your pediatric ENT to help manage these conditions is important as we have a unique perspective.

PREEMIEWORLD: What advice do you give to preemie parents?

Dr. Goudy: Two of my three children were in the NICU for several weeks, which is a short time compared to many other families. From my personal experience, as well as watching many families go through a NICU stay, it is a long road. The most common analogy that I give families is that it is a roller coaster, there will be many highs and many lows, and sometimes you will feel your stomach in your throat. The nurses and physicians who work within the NICU are some of the most dedicated and caring people you will ever meet. The amount of high tech medicine that goes on for preemies is overwhelming and hard to understand for most people that work in a hospital, and even harder to understand for those who are unfamiliar. Don’t be afraid to ask questions (write them down) and clarify why things are being done and what the risk vs benefit is. Much of medicine has moved in the direction of patient-centered care, where the medical providers will ask you to help them make a decision, so be prepared. Keep a notebook with you and write down the names of all the healthcare providers that you meet, as it was hard for me to remember, and anticipate that teams will change as people come on and off call duties (nightly, weekly and monthly rotations). The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Our job as healthcare providers is to love and care for your baby until we can get them home with you.

PREEMIEWORLD: Fun Facts: Tell us a fun or quirky fact about you:

Dr. Goudy:  I was intent on becoming a professional soccer player but my dad suggested that I may have more success in medicine.

PREEMIEWORLD: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Dr. Goudy:  Currently there is a small amount of funding that goes into innovation for child health. I created a company, Dr. Noze Best, to provide the most current, evidenced-based content to families about simple (e.g. ear infections) and complex (e.g. cochlear implant) and provide differentiated product solutions to meet the “silent suffering” moments of families. Our first product, the Nozebot, is a hospital-grade nasal suction device that is portable and rechargeable. Many families who I see in the hospital, particularly in the NICU, get used to using the hospital wall suction, and then can’t find anything like that at home. As a pediatric ENT, I am constantly trying to use adult technology for children, or there is no good solution available, and I intend to change that for children.