Contact Dr.Ruffin
Chad Ruffin, MD


Thrive with Hearing Loss.

Research shows that patients who receive care from physicians with similar backgrounds experience better health outcomes.

Dr. Ruffin is an ear surgeon who is one of the first people born deaf to become a surgeon. His unique experiences drive his passion for helping others with hearing loss TO achieve their own goals.

his team does this by:

  1. providing Medical and SURGICAL ear care.

  2. educating patients how to make the most of hearing aids and hearing assistive technology.

  3. teaching patients strategies that he and other successful deaf people use to succeed with hearing loss.

  4. connecting patients to community mentors and hearing loss support groups.


Adult & Pediatric Surgical Expertise


All Types & Severities of Hearing Loss

  • Hereditary and congenital hearing loss

  • Difficulty hearing in noise

  • Sudden sensorineural hearing loss

  • Otosclerosis and stapedectomy

  • Autoimmune inner ear disease

Hearing Devices

  • Hearing aids

  • Hearing assistive technology

  • Bone anchored hearing aids

  • Implantable hearing aids

  • Cochlear implants

ear surgery

  • Cochlear implants

  • Bone anchored hearing aids

  • Stapedectomy

  • Ear tubes

  • Tympanoplasty

  • Cholesteatoma

  • Tympanomastoidectomy

  • Ear tumors and cancer

Ear Infections

  • Swimmer's ear

  • Otitis externa

  • Chronic ear infections

Other ear Conditions

  • Tinnitus & hyperacusis

  • Facial nerve paralysis

  • Dizziness & vertigo

  • Inner ear migraine

Other otolaryngology/ENT conditions

  • Allergy testing and therapy

  • Nasal breathing difficulties and recurrent/chronic sinusitis

  • Hoarseness, vocal cord polyps/nodules, & voice disorders

  • Sleep apnea & snoring

  • Head and neck tumors & cancer

  • Salivary (spit producing) gland disorders

  • Thyroid & parathyroid disease

  • Facial fractures/trauma

  • Tonsillitis

Dr. Ruffin describes how his own journey with hearing loss informed his vision for better interventions for the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing. Click for additional news, events, and resources .

Personal Experience Informs an Integrated Approach

Hearing loss affects the most basic human need to connect with one another. The typical steps to improving outcomes—either aiding and restoring hearing or providing signed language—incompletely addresses skills of social cognition and self-advocacy. These skills are crucial to connecting those with hearing loss to their world.

Dr. Ruffin is committed to addressing these issues to negate the impact of hearing loss on relationships and careers. His teams innovate in three independent spaces:

Lightbox containing the words “Doctor” and “Scientist”

Innovating at each step of the hearing pathway to:

  • Create better technology to filter the noise from speech.

  • Investigate better ways of converting sound to electrical stimulation.

  • Examine how people holistically perceive speech. 

  • Promote better self-advocacy and communication skills.

Headshot of Dr. Ruffin.

Dr. Ruffin is uniquely equipped with the skills and experience necessary to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. He aspired to become a surgeon even though universities actively discouraged d/Deaf people from pursuing medical careers. His journey as a deaf patient, surgeon, auditory neuroscientist, and hearing technology innovator has given him keen insight into the skill set necessary for individuals to succeed with hearing loss.

He received board certification after completing surgical training at Indiana University, one of the most rigorous otolaryngology residency programs. He has received research grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the American Academy of Otolaryngology, and the National Institutes of Health. He has published in multiple journals and his advocacy efforts were recognized by Science. As an honored attendee at the American Academy of Achievement, he shared the challenges of hearing loss with heads of state and other luminaries. He has also shared his insights at the Exponential Medicine Conference hosted by Singularity University.

Contact Dr. Ruffin

Dr. Ruffin does not dispense medical advice through this website. He sees patients at Minor & James Surgical Specialists. If you would like to make an appointment, please call (206) 838-8345, Option 1. For other inquiries, please contact him below.

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