Rochester, Minnesota


Cofer.Shelagh@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Shelagh A. Cofer, M.D., investigates diseases in children affecting all aspects of the ears, nose and throat. Her approach to research is one of collaboration with colleagues, other specialists and primary care providers to drive new approaches to care for children with complex or common problems.

Dr. Cofer's research includes investigating new ways to approach complex diseases of the aerodigestive tract. She is also developing innovative approaches to common pediatric problems such as ear infections and hypernasal speech.

Focus areas

  • Evaluating speech outcomes in patients receiving treatment for velopharyngeal insufficiency with minimally invasive techniques
  • Looking at objective measures of risk reduction and quality-of-life improvements when children are treated in coordinated multidisciplinary aerodigestive clinics
  • Participating in a multicenter trial of an innovative device that allows placement of ear ventilation tubes in children in a clinic setting without general anesthesia

Significance to patient care

Dr. Cofer's research has shown that coordinating care for children with complex aerodigestive disorders is valuable in decreasing time to diagnosis and reducing risks such as exposure to anesthetics or tests performed with radiation. In addition, she seeks to show the benefits of office-based or minimally invasive procedures in terms of improved efficiency and reduced costs for children who are dealing with ear, nose and throat concerns and their families.

Professional highlights

  • Otorhinolaryngology Alumnus of the Year, University of Illinois, 2019


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Otorhinolaryngology

Academic Rank

  1. Associate Professor of Otolaryngology


  1. Fellow - Pediatric Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Minneapolis Children's Hospital, University of Minnesota
  2. Resident - Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago
  3. Internship Department of Surgery, University of Illinois Hospital
  4. MD University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago
  5. BA - Biological Sciences with Honors University of Chicago

Clinical Studies

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