Dorothy Wolff: A Pioneer in Otopathology

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Dorothy Wolff, PhD, was an inspirational anatomist, pathologist, auditory physiologist, and surgical innovator. Though little known, she worked throughout the mid-20th century in the midst of a revolution in otologic surgery, influencing well-known otologists such as Julius Lempert, MD, Phillip E. Meltzer, MD, and Richard Bellucci, MD. Wolff’s seminal work included pathologic studies of the operated human ear, which provided the anatomic basis for effective modern techniques of surgical hearing rehabilitation. Wolff also developed and refined multiple animal models of otologic pathologies that are still in use today. As an independent, innovative, and ambitious scientist, Dorothy Wolff succeeded in pioneering surgical otopathology to the benefit of us all.

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