Perhaps the most unique voice center in New York is Dr. Gwen Korovin’s Manhattan medical practice. Dr. Korovin is a board certified otolaryngologist who subspecializes in care of the professional voice. In her 28 years of practice, she has been the go-to caregiver for Broadway and pop music stars including Celine Dion, Patti LuPone, Lady GaGa, John Mayer, to name just a few.
Unlike some large voice centers, Dr. Korovin’s office is a place where every patient gets one-on-one care and attention from the doctor. In fact, Dr. Korovin is known for going the extra yard and rushing done to New York’s Shubert Alley before curtain time for what she calls “dressing room treatment.” Often, she says, singers ask for her help between an afternoon matinee and evening performance, because they feel their voices are subpar or that they may be doing damage by singing again during the same day.
Another unique aspect of Dr. Korovin’s practice is her extensive and varied team that works on the full range of voice care. While large voice centers tend to have a set group of voice teachers, therapists and other allied caregivers they refer all patients to, Dr. Korovin has built a wide-ranging network of experts with unique specialties. Where voice therapy, for example, is needed, she can match the patient to a therapist with just the right approach and personality to match the patient’s needs. Dr. Korovin also follows up on a regular basis with outside therapists or voice teachers she refers to, in order to make sure that the patient is progressing well.
After her graduation from SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse in 1984, followed by a surgical internship at Lenox Hill Hospital and Otolaryngology residency which was completed in 1989, Dr. Korovin joined the practice of Wilbur James Gould, a throat specialist who had treated politicians and celebrities including President John. F. Kennedy and Luciano Pavarotti. After Dr. Gould passed away suddenly in 1994, his patients stayed with Dr. Korovin. Since then, she has become known as a top physician not only for singers, but for professional speakers including politicians, teachers, attorneys and even athletic coaches. She also cares for many non-celebrity patients who come in with everything from sore throats to severe bronchitis or vocal cord nodules.
Dr. Korovin has the expertise to know when a vocal problem requires medicine, and when simple rest is a better approach. In 2012, five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald came to her in the middle of the run of Porgy and Bess on Broadway, suffering from a respiratory infection that made it completely impossible for her to sing. Examination showed that she also had a blood vessel that was newly ruptured – a problem that could have put an end to her career. Dr. Korovin convinced the show’s producers that McDonald had to stop singing for several weeks. That can be a difficult thing to do given the financial pressures of show business. But as Ms. McDonald said, “She’s an absolute advocate for her patients…a total dragon slayer.”
Dr. Korovin has received media attention from ABC, The Food Network, CBS, The New York Daily News, The New York Times and a host of other media outlets. She is a frequent speaker at medical conferences, and has delivered presentations on a wide range of issues including Laboratory Advances in Voice Research, Diagnosis and Treatment of Vocal Fold Issues, Facial Nerve Paralysis and Diagnosis and Treatment of the Voice Professional.
Dr. Korovin’s office differs from the typical voice center in that she sees every patient individually, and there are generally no long waiting times to see the doctor, as it typical in very large hospital-based voice centers.