The History of Wichita Ear Clinic

The Wichita Ear Clinic represents a group of surgeons who can trace an unbroken practice of medicine and surgery for over 125 years. The picture shown is Dr. Jacob Gray Dorsey who started it all.

It all started in 1892.

Dr. Jacob Gray Dorsey came to Wichita in 1892 after completing specialty training in eye, ear, nose and throat with Dr. Tiffany in Kansas City. Dr. Tiffany was considered the best eye specialist in the region at that time. He told Dr. Dorsey to go west, specifically to go to Oklahoma because the land rush would result in a large number of new settlers. On his way to Oklahoma, Dr. Dorsey’s first stop was Wichita. There he met Dr. Fabrique, one of the first physicians in Sedgwick County, who told Dr. Dorsey that he should not stay in Wichita because there already was an eye, ear, nose and throat doctor here. Despite those words of advice, Dr. Dorsey rented out office space on the second floor of the Kansas National Bank building on the corner of Main and Douglas and started his practice.

In 1909 Dr. Earnest Seydell came to Wichita to work in the Pathology department at St. Francis Hospital while completing his internship. After his internship he joined Dr. Dorsey for his specialty training in eye, ear, nose and throat surgery. In 1912 Dr. Dorsey turned the practice over to Dr. Seydell.  Dr. Seydell was dedicated to learning and improving his knowledge and surgical skills. He traveled to many other hospitals to observe surgeries and learn new techniques. He was an early member of the National Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and was a board examiner for the American Board of Otolaryngology. In 1942 he served as President of the American Otologic Society, the premier society dedicated to ear surgery in the world then and now. Dr Seydell retired in 1961.

In 1953 Dr. Joseph Budetti joined Dr. Seydell in the practice of Otolaryngology after serving in the military during World War II. Dr. Budetti and Dr. Seydell met in Tokyo while Dr. Budetti was serving in the military and Dr. Seydell was studying surgical techniques in Japan. Dr. Budetti’s areas of special interest were cancer surgery of the head and neck and bronchoscopy. He was loved both by his patients and office staff and when he announced his retirement his patients took up a petition to convince him to stay.

Dr. Richard Cummings graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1957 and completed his residency in Otolaryngology at the University of Oklahoma in 1962. Dr. Cummings joined Dr. Budetti in 1963 and the two practiced together until Dr. Budetti retired in 1978. Dr. Cummings continued his surgical education with several travelling fellowships in ear surgery and otology around the country, and in 1972, limited his practice to Otology and named the clinic the Wichita Ear Clinic. Dr. Cummings was a member of many national and international Otologic societies. He performed the first cochlear implant surgery in the state of Kansas in 1986. Dr. Cummings retired in 2002.

Dr. Thomas Kryzer joined Dr. Cummings in 1994 after completing over 11 years of active duty service in the United States Army. He attended medical school at Georgetown University and did his Residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Kryzer then completed a fellowship in Neurotology and Skull Base surgery at the University of Virginia. Since coming to Wichita, Dr. Kryzer has continued to expand the cochlear implant program and added the treatment of skull base lesions both surgically and with stereotactic radio surgery.

Dr. Lasak joined the Wichita Ear Clinic in 2001 and is a clinical professor in Surgery and Pediatrics at The Kansas University School of Medicine-Wichita. Dr. Lasak attended Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Lasak then attended Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine in Philadelphia for his Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery residency. He attended The Ohio State University for his Otology and Neurotology fellowship. During his fellowship he won the Xomed Research Award for his work in molecular biology of acoustic neuromas.

For many years the Wichita Ear Clinic was located at 427 North Hillside. In December of 2004, Drs. Kryzer and Lasak moved the office to its present location on East Central, doubling the square footage, which allowed the expansion of many services. Aural rehabilitation was added because it was no longer being offered at the hospitals and the doctors felt it was essential for the overall wellbeing and success of their patients with hearing loss.  Vestibular rehabilitation was also expanded along with many other audiological services. Electronic medical health records were implemented at that time and the billing services were brought in house, making patient information more integrated and streamlined.