WESTMINSTER -- What do electrical engineering and otolaryngology have in common? Westminster's newest otolaryngologist, Dr. Jed S. Rosen.
Dr. Rosen, who recently opened an office in the Billingslea Building, is a former electrical engineer turned otolaryngologist.
Now specializing in treating diseases of the ear, nose and throat, including head and neck surgery, Dr. Rosen has been able to use skills he learned as an engineer in his medical career.
"The problem-solving technologies are identical," said Dr. Rosen, who spent nearly 10 years as a microwave design engineer at Westinghouse Electric Corp. "Those techniques that you learn in engineering school are exactly what you do in medical school.
"From a surgical standpoint, you figure out how you get this out and put it back together again to make it work. That's why engineers make such good doctors."
During his tenure with Westinghouse, he invented a number of radar components currently used in space shuttles and the F-16 and AWACS aircraft. Four Westinghouse patents bear his name.
His background in electrical engineering and extensive work with microwave technology have enhanced Dr. Rosen's ability to help patients with hard-to-diagnose hearing problems, he said.
"Knowing frequency sensitivity helps me understand the performance of the devices we use," Dr. Rosen said. "When I look at the patients' hearing loss, I get a feel for the best device that will help them. You have to understand how the hearing aid works and how it will interact with the patient. You combine the electrical characteristics with the person's needs."
A series of events took place in 1980 that led to Dr. Rosen's enrollment to the University of Maryland School of Medicine the following year.
"It was interesting that I happened upon an article about a gentleman who was doing some microwave research for medical purposes," recalled the 37-year-old Dr. Rosen. "Reading the article, I found that the microwave stuff was kind of outdated. I contacted the man and met with him and asked him if he wanted some help."
Dr. Rosen's request was met with indignation and a challenge that catapulted the Reisterstown resident into medical school.
"He told me if I knew so much I should do it myself, and that's when I threw the gauntlet down," he said.
After graduating from medical school in 1985, he started a five-year residency at the University of Maryland Medical System.
"I found that ear surgery interested me. You are working with micro instruments on the smallest bones in the body. You have to shape them, remake them and sometimes replace them to preserve hearing," Dr. Rosen said.
After his residency, in 1990, Dr. Rosen stayed at the university as an assistant professor of surgery and was medical director of the university's Tinnitus Center.
While serving in these capacities, Dr. Rosen developed new methods for the treatment of tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing or buzzing in the ears.
He also worked at the Baltimore Veteran's Administration Medical Center in Baltimore City.
Dr. Rosen still sees patients one day a week at the Medical Center. It is there that Dr. Rosen does most of his work with head and neck cancer patients.
"I would like to have a general practice with an emphasis on pediatrics, and head and neck," Dr. Rosen said. "There seems to be a real need in the pediatric end in Carroll County. Kids seem to have problems with chronic fluid in the ear, and it seems more people are pushing to have the tonsils removed."
In addition to his new practice, Dr. Rosen recently became the second otolaryngologist to join the staff at Carroll County General Hospital.
"We feel that we were fortunate to find Dr. Rosen. He is a nice person and an excellent surgeon," said Linda Harder, vice president of planning and marketing for the hospital. "It's always nice to have two doctors in any given specialty.
"Dr. Rosen brings with him expertise in the area of tinnitus, and also major head and neck surgery," she said.
Dr. Rosen lives in Reisterstown with his wife, Jodi and their two children, Joshua, 9, and Mallory, 8.