“I’ve worked especially hard to become a respected member of the medical community,” said otolaryngologist (or ear, nose and throat specialist) Dr. Lorenzo Brown.
“When my peers have confidence in my abilities, it means my patients can too. My relationships with my patients are the kind that physicians are supposed to have. You have to know them.”
If one was to look at Brown’s resume, he/ she would see that, that respect and confidence was hard earned. The (age) physician has been in Los Angeles’ medical community for more than 40 years and has shown no signs of slowing down.
“I should be retired,” he told the Sentinel in a recent interview.
“But right now, I’m fighting to keep access to healthcare in the community.”
And, he’s happy to do it, he said. In fact, the ENT (or the otolaryngologist) continues his work as a labor of love, for patients who are underinsured. His mission: to be a part of the healthcare solution, especially in South Los Angeles where the need is great.
“I want to bring the best medical care to South L.A.,” Brown said.
Currently, Brown is the lead otolaryngologist at the Martin Luther King outpatient center, where he and his team serve about 100 patients a week, he said. His private practice is located in Inglewood. He provides hearing tests; he takes care of ear, nose and throat issues, head and neck surgery and also performs reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Brown is one of only three specialists of his kind in the South L.A. area, the next closest, he said, is in Torrance.
Dr. Brown grew up in Detroit, cultivating a background in music before deciding to go into medicine. He arrived in the Golden State from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he received his M.D. in 1974. He began with an internship in general surgery at Martin Luther King Hospital that same year.
By 1975, he was sharpening his surgical skills as a resident at California Hospital in Los Angeles, where he stayed until 1976 before heading to Chicago as an otolaryngologist resident at Northwestern University Medical Center. In 1979, The American Board of Otolaryngology certified Dr. Brown and he headed back to California, choosing to practice at MLK and subsequently choosing to share his knowledge and skills training others at Charles R. Drew School of Medicine and science.
He has trained over 40 otolaryngologists during his career. The National Medical Association deemed him outstanding in his field and he is a fellow with the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is a member of several professional medical organizations like the NMA, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, California Medical Association and Los Angeles County Medical Association.
But his accomplishments are not what Dr. Brown thinks about. In fact, during his interview, he seemed to hardly ever reflect on them. He is mainly focused on getting quality care to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access.
“We call our clinic the ‘Butterfly Clinic,’” Brown explained.
“We take care of things like thyroid tumors (for instance). We have a very high level of skill and we help people.”
At the outpatient center, Brown and his team provide social services.
“We find a way to get people the care they need,” he said.
Brown is among a list of specialists at MLK, he said, specialists who would normally not be accessible to uninsured or underinsured patients. Those included podiatrists, neurologists and dermatologists for instance.
And, while his patients appreciate him and the others, he likes to make sure they know that he appreciates his patients also. He shows it by doing things like hosting luncheons for them. For instance. In 2015, Brown hosted his first thyroid cancer surgery survival celebration.
Per one patient review, Dr. Brown is an “excellent doctor great conversation, very professional. [and his] office staff is very sweet.”
Said another, “Dr. Brown is an excellent physician. I would recommend him to anyone having a problem that needs his specialty. The staff is very helpful…”
And perhaps the most telling, “Dr Brown saved my life when he found and removed the cancer tumors [sic] in my neck and in my throat. He has been concerned with my after care after my insurance [sic] and he had problems that he stills sees me regularly [sic] without being paid. I will always be grateful for Dr. BROWN AND HIS STAFF…”