When Amanda Stapleton first came to Pittsburgh as a visiting medical student in 2007, she was assigned to the head and neck service. She was immediately impressed with how confident and skilled the senior residents were as they took her through a neck dissection or parotid surgery.
“I was really attracted to the quality of education, medical care, and scope of practice that the residency had to offer,” she recalled.
The following year, she started as a first-year intern and has never left.
After an ENT residency, Dr. Stapleton graduated in 2013. Two fellowships later: in Pediatric Otolaryngology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery, she joined the faculty of the Pediatric Otolaryngology Division in June 2015.
Now Dr. Stapleton is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology and the Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship Director. She runs an Advanced Pediatric Rhinology Clinic, where she evaluates, manages, and operates on pediatric patients with advanced rhinologic diseases. These include cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dykinesia, chronic sinusitis, septal deviation, and pediatric skull base disease and tumors.
“I love taking care of pediatric patients and their families,” Dr. Stapleton said. “There is nothing more satisfying that being able to help a pediatric patient and their family go from illness to health. When a child is sick or has a new tumor or mass – it is an extremely stressful time for the family. To be able to provide that family with high level medical and surgical care and resolution of their illness is extremely rewarding.”
Being Fellowship Director is rewarding in another way, watching the Fellows evolve and grow during their year at Pitt. Dr. Stapleton works with all the pediatric otolaryngology faculty to provide the most comprehensive fellowship training program in the country. Currently there are 11 Pediatric Otolaryngology Attendings at CHP, with training in all areas. Her goals are to provide state of the art training using 3-D models, simulator training, diversity of surgical experience, and career preparation.
“I am proud of our recruitment in an era of virtual interviews,” Dr. Stapleton said. “We have matched outstanding fellows over the past several years and we continue to provide an outstanding training program for our Fellows.”
In terms of research, Dr. Stapleton studies the microbiome of the pediatric nose and sinonasal cavity. Collaborating with the microbiology department and the Microbiome Center at Pitt, they are studying what bacteria and virus cause pediatric chronic sinusitis. By learning more about which bacteria are healthy for the pediatric sinonasal cavity and which ones cause disease, future treatments can be tailored to re-establish a healthy sinonasal cavity and prevent chronic sinusitis.
Dr. Stapleton grew up in the same hometown as Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jonas Johnson of Jamestown, NY. She is a lifelong downhill skier and long-distance runner who grew up going to Buffalo Bills football games and remains an avid fan. The mother of three children (7, 6, and 4 years old), she loves playing sports with and reading to them. With a physician husband, Dr. Stapleton is always on the move between work and home, where she also enjoys her garden, cooking, reading, and going out to eat.