"My feeling is that 'the secret to caring for the patient is caring about the patient...' Or my favorite from a professor in medical school: 'If you listen to the patient, they will tell you what the problem is.'"


My professional pathway has taken me from my native Pacific Northwest through California, Tennessee, Kansas/Missouri, and finally Wisconsin before returning home to Seattle in 2007 to take my dream job running the laryngology program at the University of Washington. I may be the only surgeon in the department who actually had his tonsils removed at UWMC as a child!

I am first and last a clinician and have earned a reputation of clinical accessibility for our patients and colleagues in the region.

My three favorite people in the whole world are my wife Jenny, my little dude Solomon (born 2009), and Rose (born 2013). I owe my professional career success to the foundations laid down in medical school with Charlie Cummings and Ernie Weymuller (who serves to this day as my advisor here at UW), Jeff Harris at UCSD, my dear mentor Robert Ossoff, and my beloved guardian angel and advocate Bob Toohill from Milwaukee. How lucky I have been!


Undergraduate Education: University of Washington, 1987, B.A. in English, with distinction

Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine, 1991, M.D., with honors

Internship: University of California - San Diego, 1991-92, General Surgery

Residency: University of California - San Diego, 1992-97, Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

Fellowship: Laryngology & Care of the Professional Voice, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1997-98

Other Training: NIH Research Training, Neuromuscular Lab, Department of Orthopedics, UCSD, 1993-94

Board Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology, 1998

Memberships: American Laryngological Association, American Broncho-Esophagological Association, American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Awards and honors 

2018-2019: President, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS)

2016: Distinguished Service Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery. Second career award; the first was awarded in 2008.

2014-2018: Secretary/Treasurer, Western Section Triological Society/Council of the Triological Society

2014-present: Editor/Council American Bronchoesophagological Association 

2012-present: Senior Examiner, American Board of Otolaryngology 

2012-present: Associate Editor - JAMA OTO-HNS 

2011-2013: Board of Directors, AAO-HNS

2012-13: Chair, Surgical Speciality Advisory Council AAO-HNS 

2008-2011: Founding Chair, Airway and Swallowing Committee, American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 

2008: Distinguished Service Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery 

2007-present: Honorary Member, Panamanian Otolaryngology Society 

2006-2008: Chair, Neurolaryngology Subcommittee, American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 

2006: Outstanding Service Award, Wisconsin State Speech and Hearing Association

2005-present: Best Doctors in America ® (peer election) 

2005: Honor Award, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 

2001: "Top Doc" Award, Kansas University Medical Center 

2000: "Top Doc" Honorable Mention, Kansas University Medical Center 

1997: Department of Surgery Teaching Award, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine 

1997: Department of Medicine "Golden Flea" Award (most outstanding surgical consultant), University of California at San Diego 

1996: Housestaff Teaching Award, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine 

1995: Housestaff Teaching Award (Honorable Mention), University of California at San Diego School of Medicine 

1991: James Haviland Award, University of Washington School of Medicine 

1990: Alpha Omega Alpha 

Academic interests 


All medical and surgical aspects of office-based and operative laryngology, including complex airway, voice, and swallowing. This includes vocal fold paralysis, surgery for dysphagia/aspiration (including Zenker's), and endoscopic and open surgery for airway stenosis and laryngeal cancer.



Most of my research has related to the better understanding the dominant clinical issues facing our patients, including diagnostic testing and treatment of vocal fold paralysis, surgical management of airway stenosis, the impact of reflux on laryngeal disorders, as well as tracheotomy complications.


Recent Publications

Britton D, Kain A, Chen YW, Wiedrick J, Benditt JO, Merati AL, Graville D. Extreme Sawtooth-Sign in Motor Neuron Disease (MND) suggests Laryngeal Resistance to Forced Expiratory Airflow., Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2022 Apr34894221089407

Wandell GM, Merati AL, Meyer TK. Update on Tracheostomy and Upper Airway Considerations in the Head and Neck Cancer Patient., Surg Clin North Am 2022 Apr; 102(2):267-283

Garber D, Wandell GM, Gobillot TA, Merati A, Bhatt NK, Giliberto JP. Safety and Predictors of 30-Day Adverse Events of Laryngeal Framework Surgery: An Analysis of ACS-NSQIP data., Laryngoscope 2022 07; 132(7):1414-1420

Baylor C, Merati AL, Eadie T, Kapsner-Smith M, Meyer TK, Britton D, Mach H, Patel S, Yorkston K. Sensitivity of the Communicative Participation Item Bank for Measuring Patient-Reported Outcomes After Treatment of Unilateral Vocal Fold Immobility., JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2021 11; 147(11):933-942

Gobillot TA, Garber D, Merati AL, Wandell GM. Assessing the Clinical Utility of the Early Postoperative Pharyngogram in Hypopharyngeal Surgery for Dysphagia., Laryngoscope 2022 02; 132(2):272-277

Latest news 

UWTV with Dr. Merati:  "The Human Voice"  http://uwtv.org/watch/bRm_WXe19rs/