About Dr. Thomas

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How I got here

I have enjoyed science from as early as I can remember and upon entering 9th grade, physics teacher, Ted Barnhart, allowed me to enter independent study a year early. He just opened the door to a lab full of lasers, transistors, patch panels and measuring equipment and let me loose. I can't thank him enough for this head start.

I found an unused darkroom and began processing black and white photos, shooting and editing for the yearbook. I discovered a carbon arc projector way up in the projection room above the auditorium. By my senior year at high school, physics research on the Aerodynamics of Tractor Trailer trucks led me to the International Science Fair.

While at Penn State for eight years (BS and MD), I built a hammer dulcimer and played in a old time string band perhaps developing an ear for music. Studying acoustics while in residency (some forgettable paper taking photos of kitten tympanic membrane diameters), Ron Konrad gave me free rein to study ear anatomy, neurosurgery and push the boundaries of otolaryngology.

I ultimately switched after residency to the nascent field of laryngology as video and digital computer equipment were intertwining. Searching for a mentor in laryngology, otologist colleague Michael Teixido led me to Robert Bastian in Chicago and through him I learned to how to hear a voice disorder.

Now, as I take my turn teaching interested fellows about laryngology, I can, in retrospect, see how all this past, seemingly disparate fascination with music, aerodynamics, physics, sound, computers, film, anatomy, surgery, nerves, video and photography, actually fits together like a puzzle to formulate what has become a passionate career in the diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders. 

Qualifications and Experience

Dr. Thomas' special area of interest is voice disorders, including singing, speaking, breathing, and swallowing. Dr. Thomas’ qualifications for the laryngeal or voice subspecialty of ear, nose, and throat surgery (otolaryngology), include a passionate interest in voice disorders, as well as extensive study including and beyond a six year residency training program in otolaryngology. Dr. Thomas has traveled widely, studying under numerous other laryngologists (otolaryngologists who specialize in throat disorders) in the United States, Canada, and in Europe. In addition, Dr. Thomas completed a concentrated fellowship at Loyola University in Chicago studying under Robert Bastian, M.D.


 Laryngology & Voice Disorders
Loyola University Medical School, Maywood, Illinois
July 1998 – December 1998


American Acadmey of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
American Medical Association
Oregon Academy of Otolaryngology

 Board Certification

American Board of Otolaryngology
March 31, 1993


US News Top Doctor 2011

Studies Abroad

Laryngology – Dr. Marc Bouchayer, Lyons, France
September 1998

Sun Yat Sen School of Medicine, Guangzhou, China 
September – November 1991


Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
 Southern Illinois University, Springfield, Illinois 

 July 1987 – June 1991

 General Surgery 

Southern Illinois University, Springfield, Illinois 

July 1985 – June 1987


Doctor of Medicine 

Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pennsylvania
July 1981 – June 1985

Bachelor of Science
Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania 

September 1977 – March 1981

Research Interests

  • High definition endoscopic imaging of the larynx
  • Feminizing the male voice

  • Cricothyroidotomies and voice changes
  • Use of frozen Botox
  • The role of talkativeness in voice disorders

  • Botulinum toxin in the treatment of spasmodic dysphonia
  • Nonorganic voice disorders
  • Partial laryngeal paralysis and diagnostic EMGs


Chang, CY, Chabot, P, and Thomas, JP. “Relationship of Botulinum Dosage to Duration of Side Effects & Normal Voice in Adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia.” Otolaryngoly – Head Neck Surgery. June 2007, 136(6):894-9.

Chang, CY and Thomas, JP. “Neo-ossification of the cricothyroid joint after elective cricothyroidotomy: A case report and discussion on the merits of this procedure.” Journal of Trauma – Injury Infection and Critical Care. November 2008, 65(5): 1146-1150.

Chang, CY and Thomas, JP. “Adult-Onset Iatrogenic Tracheomalacia.” Ear Nose Throat Journal. June 2008, 87(6): 312-314.

Thomas JP, Siupsinskiene N.: "Frozen versus fresh reconstituted botox for laryngeal dystonia." Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Aug;135(2):204-8. 

Thomas, J.P. and Finch, R: “Esophageal Erosion: A Complication of Acrylic Fixation in Anterior Cervical Fusion.”  Spine 1991 Oct 16(10):