Dr. Silverstein

M.D., Temple University Medical School
Residency, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Board Certified, American Board of Otolaryngology

Otology, microsurgery of the ear
Minimally invasive surgery
Meniere's Disease, vertigo
Dizziness and balance disorders

Learn More About  Dr. Silverstein's Inventions  and Procedures

Herbert Silverstein, MD, FACS, President and Founder of the Silverstein Institute and the Ear Research Foundation, has consistently been recognized (since 1979) as one the “Best Physicians in the USA.” He has been a leader in Otology/Neurotology (science of the ear and skullbase) for more than 40 years, developing surgical and diagnostic procedures, inventing instruments (such as the facial nerve monitor/stimulator), teaching medical students, residents and fellows, and helping people improve their quality of life. Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Silverstein received his BS degree from Dickinson College (cum laude), and both MS (in physiology) and MD degrees from Temple University Medical School. Before coming to Sarasota in 1973, he served on the teaching staff of Harvard University Medical School, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, as director of the Walker Biochemistry Research Laboratory, and as associate professor and director of the Otological Research Laboratory at University of Pennsylvania Medical School.

He is internationally regarded as a leading authority on Ménière's disease, having received the Prosper Meniere’s Society’s prestigious Gold Medal Honor Award in 1996 for his contributions to understanding the biochemistry of Meniere’s disease and his surgical developments to treat the disease. He developed the microsurgical posterior fossa vestibular neurectomy which relieves the patients vertigo attacks while preserving the hearing. He developed a new procedure for otosclerosis to free the frozen stapes bone, the Laser STAMP (Laser Stapedotomy Minus Prosthesis), which does not require a prosthesis to restore the patients’ hearing. He has been a pioneer in developing minimally invasive surgical techniques including laser tympanostomy and the Silverstein MicroWick which allows the patient to deliver medication to the inner ear though the ear canal to treat sudden deafness and Ménière's disease. Recently he has pioneered treating Hyperacusis with a minimally invasive procedure, round and oval window reinforcement which reduces the sound vibrations of the stapes and round window membrane. 

He is Board Certified in Otolaryngology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is an active member of the American Otological Society, AmericanNeurotology Society and the Triologic Society. He is on the active staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Cape Surgery Center.

In 1979, Dr. Silverstein founded the Ear Research Foundation. Today, he serves as its president, as well as its Medical Director. An active researcher, Dr. Silverstein speaks at many international medical meetings and is the author of over 248 scientific papers, textbook chapters and 7 textbooks, and videos. Among his many honors and accolades are the 2nd Howard P. House Award for Excellence in Ear Surgery, and the 10th Prosper Meniere Society Gold Medal Honor Award. He has been elected to the Best Doctors in the U.S.A. repeatedly since 1979. Other honors include President: Otosclerosis Study Group 1998, Guest of Honor: Canadian ENT Society 1999, Guest of Honor: The Triologic Society Southern Section 2002, Presidential Citation: American Academy of Otolaryngology 2002, President : Otosclerosis Study Group 2005, Award of Merit: American Otological Society 2006, and the AAO-HNS Howard House Memorial Lecture, 2017.

Click here to view Dr. Silverstein’s CV and List of Publications 

Click here to view Dr. Silverstein’s Scientific Publications

Dr. Silverstein's Inventions & Procedures

Herbert Silverstein MD: 7th Howard House Memorial Lecture, 2017 American  Academy of Otolaryngology  

Dr. Silverstein is also a celebrated jazz musician, having produced 13 CD’s, written 61 songs and 28 originals published in book entitled "Jazz Harmony and Improvisation" co-authored with Richard Drexler  Click here to learn more!

Residency, State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center
Fellowship, Ear Research Foundation
Board Certified, American Board of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Fellow, American College of Surgeons, American Otological Society, Triological Society

Hearing and balance disorders, Nasal and sinus diseases, Allergy, Neurotology, Minimally invasive ear and sinus surgery
Seth I. Rosenberg, MD, FACS, specialist in ear disease and sinus disorders adds a valuable complement to services provided at the Florida Ear & Sinus Center. His special interests include surgical hearing restoration, balance disorders and sinus surgery.

A native of Poughkeepsie, New York, he completed a BS in chemistry, cum laude, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute prior to obtaining his MD at State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. His surgical and otolaryngology residencies were also served at SUNY.

Following the completion of his internship and residency, Dr. Rosenberg spent one year of specialized study in otology and neurotology at the Ear Research Foundation. Upon graduating the Fellowship, he was asked to join the staff of the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, as an Assistant Professor. During this time, he quickly developed new surgical techniques and a national level practice in ear and skull base surgery. At the same time the University of Pennsylvania was an original center for endoscopic sinus surgery in the United States, so Dr. Rosenberg also cultivated a special interest in the treatment of paranasal sinus disease.  He brought this technique to Sarasota in 1991. He then went on to develop ways to use the same endoscopes for minimally invasive ear surgery. In 1994, while seeing a need in this community, Dr. Rosenberg introduced various techniques for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. One method, the CO2 LASER, is also used for in-office minimally invasive ear surgery.

Since 1991, Dr. Rosenberg has collaborated with Dr. Silverstein in many productive research endeavors. He serves as Vice President and Education Director for the Ear Research Foundation, and has co-authored over 70 scientific publications. He is still a clinical assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is also a clinical assistant professor at USF Medical School, Division of Otolaryngology.

Dr. Rosenberg is Board Certified in Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat) and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He holds membership in many medical organizations, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. In 2000, he became a member of the prestigious Triological Society, receiving the Mosher Award for his thesis “The Natural History of Acoustic Neuromas”. The following year, he became one of the youngest members of the exclusive American Otological Society. Dr Rosenberg is on the staff of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Venice Regional Medical Center, Doctors Same Day Surgery Center, as well as The Cape Surgery Center.

Click here to view Dr. Rosenberg’s Curriculum Vitae

Click here to view a list of Dr. Rosenberg’s published articles

Residency, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, N.Y.
Fellowship, Ear Research Foundation, Sarasota, Fla.
Board Certified, American Board of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Board Sub-Certified, Otology-Neurotology

Microsurgical ear procedures, Acoustic Neuromas, Cochlear implants and implantable hearing devices, Treatment of dizziness and balance disorders

Jack J. Wazen, MD, FACS - A partner in the practice, Dr. Wazen was also the Silverstein Institute’s first research fellow. He left Sarasota in 1983 to build a successful Ear, Nose & Throat specialty practice in New York and spent 23 years as a researcher, professor and practitioner with Columbia University and the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Recognized repeatedly as one of New York’s and America’s “Best Doctors,” Dr. Wazen is one of the nation’s leading authorities on hearing and balance disorders, pioneering new research that expanded treatments for people with single-sided deafness and complex cases of hearing loss. He also is author of the seminal book, Dizzy, providing new treatment options and hope for people affected by balance and hearing disorders.

In addition to providing medical care in the office, Dr. Wazen is an experienced otological/neurotological surgeon trained to restore hearing through microsurgical procedures, such as stapedectomy to correct ear bone degeneration (otosclerosis) and other minimally invasive techniques to cure birth defects, infection or disease (such as Meniere’s). He also specializes in surgical removal of tumors (acoustic neuromas and skull based lesions), as well as insertion of implantable hearing devices and cochlear implants (electrodes placed in the inner ear to restore severly impaired hearing).

Committed to finding new and better cures for hearing and balance disorders, Dr. Wazen serves as the Director of Research for the Institute’s non-profit Ear Research Foundation. Just as past studies uncovered new options to restore hearing, Dr. Wazen believes new and better treatments are imminent for people suffering from debilitating inner ear diseases like tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and dizziness and balance disorders.

Click here to view Dr. Wazen’s Curriculum Vitae

Click here to view a list of Dr. Wazen’s published articles


American University of Beirut Medical Center RESIDENCY:
Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York

American Board of Otolarygology, Head and Neck Surgery 

Sinus Surgery including Balloon Sinuplasty
Difficult Sinus Polyp Cases/Repair of CSF Leaks
Nasal Obstruction
Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Snoring
Tubes, Tonsils, Adenoids
Head and Neck Masses/Tumors
Office Surgical Procedures
Treats a wide variety of ear, nose and throat disorders

Moufid John H. Abdo, MD - Dr. Abdo is a general ENT surgeon who treats all types of ear, nose and throat disorders. Dr. Abdo graduated from the American University of Beirut and completed his residency in Otolaryngology at the Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Abdo comes to us following 14 years of practice with the UHS Medical Group in Binghamton, New York. While in upstate New York, he served as the Chief of ENT Section for the Department of Surgery at UHS Hospitals and Clinics in Johnson City and as Clinical Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at the Binghamton Campus, Upstate Medical University, College of Medicine SUNY.

He has moved to Florida to escape the snow and join us in the sunshine state. He is married and also has two grown daughters. 

Dr. Abdo specializes in the following treatment areas: Sinus Surgery including Balloon Sinuplasty, Difficult Sinus Polyp Cases/Repair of CSF Leaks, Nasal Obstruction, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Snoring, Tubes, Tonsils, and Adenoids, Head and Neck Masses/Tumors, Office Surgical Procedures, and a wide variety of various ear, nose and throat disorders. He will be working primarily out of our Lakewood Ranch office.  

Click here to view Dr. Abdo's Curriculum Vitae

Jack Thompson
Jack H. Thompson, Jr., PhD, PA-C, has been practicing as a Physician Assistant at Florida Ear & Sinus Center since 1998. He works with all of the Physicians in the practice, and Dr. Rosenberg in particular.

Jack is originally from San Antonio, Texas. The son of an Army officer, he lived everywhere from South Carolina to Alaska before returning to San Antonio. He graduated from Trinity University with a BA in biology, then taught High School science before earning a PhD in Oceanography at Texas A&M University. Reef Building Corals were his particular area of interest. He also worked for Motorola as a Service Representative and was the Senior Radio Technician at an ARCO chemical plant before moving to Honduras with his family. During their eight years in Honduras, he taught school, and then started an emergency medical service on the Island of Honduras. As Director of the Cornerstone EMS, he was also the pilot for the missionaries small plane, and installed and operated the first functional hyperbaric chamber in Honduras. He continues to make trips to Honduras to support the clinic that grew out of that effort.

Florida Ear & Sinus Center makes good use of Jack’s experience. Besides maintaining a busy clinical schedule (including seeing Spanish speaking patients), and assisting Dr. Rosenberg in surgery, he performs statistical analysis of the research, writes software for the clinic’s computerized charting system, oversees the practice’s computer system, and”fixes things”.

Jack is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American Academy of Otolaryngology, and the Society of Physician Assistants in Otolaryngology. He is also active in the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants where he lectures at both local and statewide meetings.

Cassandra M. Santiso PA-C
Cassandra M. Santiso PA-C joined Florida Ear & Sinus Center in October of 2018. She works closely with all of the physicians in the practice but most specifically with Dr. Wazen.

Prior to joining the Silverstein Institute, Cassandra worked in Interventional Cardiology. She obtained her Bachelor of Science at the University of Miami where she majored in Biology and Chemistry. Next she studied at Nova Southeastern University where she obtained her Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant degree.

Cassandra is originally from California, but has lived in Sarasota since 1995. She is the daughter of Dr. Carlos F. Caballero, the first concierge physician in town. Her brother also works as a Physician Assistant in Urology.  

She sees a variety of new and established patients including those with ear pain, hearing loss, ear wax impaction, dizziness and vertigo. She also sees Dr. Wazen’s pre-operative and postoperative patients.

When not working as a Physician Assistant, Cassandra can be found on the stage. She is an active member of several of Sarasota’s community theaters.

Cassandra is a member of both the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants.


AuD - AT Still University
MA – Audiology, Ohio University
BS - Speech-Pathology/Audiology - West Virginia University

American Board of Audiology Certified (ABAC)

Sharon Rende, AuD, ABAC - After more than 30 years in New York, Dr. Sharon Rende joined Silverstein Institute as Director of Audiology in 2018. Dr. Rende has a wide range of clinical expertise, including comprehensive cochlear implant and implantable technology assessment and follow up care for patients ranging from the pediatric to geriatric populations.

Throughout her career she has been active at the local, state and national level, presented at numerous events, served on various professional committees, chaired local and state conventions and participated in international implant research.



AuD –Audiology, Salus University
MS – Audiology, University of Puerto Rico
MA – Public Administration, University of Puerto Rico
BS- Education, University of Puerto Rico

Certificate in Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)

Carmelo Ortega, AuD, CCC-A - Dr. Carmelo Ortega is a senior audiologist with more than 20 years of experience. His clinical interests and expertise include audiologic evaluations, vestibular evaluations, bone-anchored hearing devices and cochlear implants for the adult population. 

Over the years, Dr. Ortega has served as the preceptor for several audiology doctoral externs. He has participated in numerous research studies involving cochlear implants, middle ear implants, and bone anchored hearing devices. He has a special interest in cochlear implants.



AuD –Audiology, University of South Florida
BA -Speech & Hearing, University of South Florida


Certificate in Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)

Lynette Dornton, AuD, CCC-A - With a decade of experience, Dr. Lynette Dornton joined the audiology team in 2019 bringing with her a passion for the diagnostic assessment of audiologic, vestibular and balance disorders, tinnitus and hyperacusis.

As a hearing- impaired individual herself, Dr. Dornton has a special interest in the treatment of hearing loss and tinnitus through the use of amplification and assistive listening devices. 

Dr. Dornton’s clinical experience includes comprehensive evaluations of hearing, hearing aids and assistive listening devices.  She enjoys teaching and supervising doctoral externs, clinical research, and public speaking.



AuD –Audiology, University of South Florida
BA -Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Florida

Certificate in Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)

Carolyn Brennan, AuD, CCC-A - Dr. Carolyn Brennan first joined the team as an Audiology Extern in 2017.   Her clinical interests include diagnostic audiology, as well as vestibular and balance assessments.  

Dr. Brennan specializes in the evaluations for cochlear and bone-conduction implantable technologies. She is currently involved in several research studies, and also supports the training of volunteers for the Ear Research Foundation.



AuD –Audiology, University of Florida
BA – Audio Engineering, Temple University

Certificate in Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)

John Massey, AuD, CCC-A - Following the completion of his Doctoral Externship, Dr. John Massey came to the Silverstein Institute in 2019.  He is proficient in providing a wide array of services including diagnostic audiologic assessments, vestibular evaluations, electrophysiology, hearing aid evaluations and tinnitus.

Dr. Massey received a scholarship to perform research in the field of psychoacoustics and speech perception during an apprenticeship at the Boystown National Research Hospital. With a background as a professional audio engineer and producer, he brings a unique knowledge of acoustics and signal processing to the practice.



R.N. – Nursing,  St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing, IL

Diane Lewis, RN - Diane Lewis joined the practice 38 years ago as Dr. Silverstein’s allergy nurse.  She found audiology extremely interesting and often observed audiology testing.  She trained to learn and then perform hearing evaluations, electrophysiology and vestibular tests. She even monitored hearing during surgical cases. Diane’s knowledge of audiology and commitment to the Institute is a valuable asset to the audiology team.


SI Staff