Shelagh A. Cofer, MD

Alumnus of the Year

Dr. Shelagh Cofer attended college at the University of Chicago where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Honors. Dr. Cofer earned her medical degree from the University Of Illinois at Chicago- College of Medicine, in 1997, and then completed an internship in the Department of Surgery, as well as a residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UIC in 2002. Inspired by her UIC mentors to pursue pediatric airway and facial reconstruction, she completed a yearlong fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital and the University of Minnesota focusing on care of children with complex pediatric otolaryngology diagnoses, especially repair of congenital cleft lip and palate. In 2003, Dr. Cofer joined faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, and Assistant Professor, in the Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Shelagh Cofer joined the staff at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, in 2008. Her clinical interest in velopharyngeal insufficiency and team care led her to develop a multispecialty clinic to treat children and adults with VPI at Mayo Clinic. Since 2012, she has been the Chair, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, and Surgical Director of the Pediatric Aerodigestive Clinic at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. Active in the three shields of research, education, and patient care, Dr. Shelagh Cofer was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019

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Recent Graduates

Class of 2019

Class of 2018

Class of 2017


Elise Lippmann, MD

Comprehensive Otolaryngologist,
Massachusetts Eye and Ear,
Harvard Medical School,
Boston, MA

Sheena Samra, MD

Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship,
Lasky Clinic,
Beverly Hills, CA

Auddie Sweis, MD

Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery Fellowship,
University of Pennsylvania


Katherine Nickley, MD

Private practice, Chelmsford, MA

Neela Rao, MD

Facial Plastics Fellowship,
University of Texas- Houston

Rishi Zaveri, MD

Otology Fellowship, Wilmington, DE


Julia Frisenda, MD

Facial Plastics Fellowship, Nassif Plastic Surgery,
Beverly Hills, CA

Edward Lee, MD

Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship, University of California,
San Francisco, CA

Zrria Richardson, MD

Private Practice, Kaiser Permanente of Southern California,
Fontana, CA

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