“I see children and adults in my practice for a variety of ear, nose and throat-related issues that are both surgical and non-surgical. We provide comprehensive ear, nose and throat care, including evaluation of these disorders and both medical and surgical treatment of these conditions,” says Dr. Cara Watts, an attending physician with Riverside ENT Physicians and Surgeons. The practice, founded in the 1970s, became a part of the Riverside Medical Group in 2006. In addition to its offices in Newport News, there are also locations in Williamsburg and Gloucester.
Watts and her team at Riverside ENT also provide same day hearing tests, a variety of minor in-office procedures, including ear cleaning, endoscopy of the nose and throat, biopsies and small lesion removals. The doctor spends three and a half days in the clinic each week, and a day and a half in the operating room.
Watts is proud of her busy team. “At our Newport News office, we have two physicians, three audiologists, one nurse practitioner, one physician assistant, one certified medical assistant, an office manager, a registered nurse clinical coordinator, three licensed practical nurses and four front office staff,” Watts says.
Watts specializes in otolaryngology, which is head and neck surgery, and a surgical specialty that addresses issues with the ear, nose and throat. “Within the field of otolaryngology, there are several subspecialties, including facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, rhinology, head and neck oncologic surgery, neurotology and laryngology. Not everyone undergoes subspecialty training, and I decided to go directly into practice as a general otolaryngologist,” Watts says.
The otolaryngology specialist received years of education before attaining her current position. “After completing college, I underwent four years of medical school, followed by five years of a residency in otolaryngology,” Watts says. Her undergraduate studies were at Yale University, then she earned her medical degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She completed her otolaryngology, head and neck surgery residency with the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, where she received awards for resident research and teaching. This education prepared Watts for her fulfilling career.
“The most rewarding part of my job is operating, “ she says. “It is incredibly satisfying to use the skills that I have developed to surgically correct patients’ problems, improving their quality of life,” Watts explains. She is also passionate about creating a positive doctor-patient relationship with her clients and makes it a goal in her office.
In addition to seeing her own patients, Watts is medical director of facial trauma at Riverside Regional Medical Center. “Essentially, I am responsible for managing or assisting in the management of almost all of the facial trauma patients who come to our emergency department and our outpatient setting,” Watts says.
Despite her busy professional roles, Watts enjoys personal time for herself. “When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my two-year-old son and family. My biggest hobby now is running, and I am currently training for a half marathon,” she says. A native of Virginia Beach, the beach remains Watts’ favorite aspect of the area.
Looking to the future, Watts hopes to obtain a master’s degree in healthcare administration. Yes, it’s a busy schedule, and with it all, Dr. Watts is accepting new patients, ready to help and improve their lives.
TO THE POINT:
Dr. Cara Watts, Riverside ENT Physicians and Surgeons
Address: 895 City Center Blvd., Ste. 152, Newport News, VA 23606
Business: Ears, nose and throat physicians and surgeons