Dr. John Emmett joined the Shea Ear Clinic in 1976, and specializes in the medical and surgical treatment hearing and balance disorders and has performed more than 17,000 major ear operations. An internationally-known lecturer and author, Dr. Emmett is widely published in medical journals and books and has been selected nationally by his peers each year for two decades to be included in the listing of “The Best Doctors in America.”
His past and present associations include President of the Memphis Society of Otolaryngology, President of the Tennessee Academy of Otolaryngology, Vice President of the Southern Section of The Triological Society and President of the Otosclerosis Study Group. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Deafness Research Foundation and on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the American Tinnitus Association.
Dr. Emmett was elected to membership of the prestigious American Otological Society and The Triological Society. Dr. Emmett is the recipient of the Honor Award of the American Academy of Otolaryngology for his contributions to the field of otolaryngology.
Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, Dr. Emmett graduated from Georgia Tech in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Biology and began graduate work at Baylor University in biochemistry and physiology, where he received his Masters Degree in 1968. In 1966, Dr. Emmett began his medical career at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., earning his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1970. At the time of his medical school graduation he received the Hoffman-LaRoche Award (highest award) and the Alexander A. Horwitz Award for excellence in surgery. Originally interested in cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Emmett entered the Duke University Residency Program with the intention of pursuing a surgical career. He trained for two years in general surgery at Duke and a third year of general surgery was completed at University of North Carolina. He then completed three years of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Residency at the University of North Carolina and completed it in 1976.
It was during his rotation in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery-that Dr. Emmett performed his first ear operation. “From that moment on, I was hooked on the microsurgical techniques of the ear”. Subsequent correspondence and mentoring with Dr. John Shea, Jr. led Dr. Emmett to join the practice in 1976.
Dr. Emmett’s wife Karen is an audiologist, and he has two daughters who have followed his life of service. The older, Kathleen, is a Chief Fundraising Officer for non-profit organizations in Palm Beach, Florida. His younger daughter, Susan, is a resident in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University.
When Dr. Emmett is asked to sum up his life as an ear surgeon, he is quick to point out that it is more than the practice of medicine. It is part of his life’s ministry. He states, “The biggest privilege and thrill of all is to serve in God’s healing ministry”.
At the American Neurotology Society Spring Meeting, Dr. Brian J. McKinnon’s team presented their latest ongoing research on the development of a novel cochlear implant thin film array electrode.
Throughout the course of his life, Dr. John Shea Jr. has made major historical breakthroughs and advancements in medicine. Recently, Shea donated 406 papers, including more than 300 published articles, to the Memphis Public Library’s Memphis Room..
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