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Introducing our surgeons

In the first of a series on the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme surgeons, we’re shining the spotlight on Dr Tanja Jelicic, a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon who started working with The Hearing House’s younger clients on the publicly funded cochlear implant programme this year.  


A native of Quebec, Tanja completed her medical training and post-graduate specialist training in Oto-rhino-laryngology and Head and Neck surgery in Canada before taking up a fellowship in otology and neurotology at Starship Children’s Hospital and Auckland City Hospital.  


There, she gained further experience in complex otology surgery, including cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids, lateral skull base procedures, endoscopic middle ear surgery and laser surgery. 


She is actively involved in the teaching and training of medical students and junior doctors, and also lectures at Auckland University. She practices at Gillies Hospital, Auckland City Hospital, Starship Children's Hospital, and Greenlane Clinical Centre.  

What do you enjoy most about working with young cochlear implant patients? 


“Implanting is one of the most interesting procedures you can do. It can have its challenges at various points, but to be part of the implant journey, especially with younger patients, is extremely gratifying.” 


When did you first become interested in becoming an ENT surgeon? 


“I was originally destined to become a cardiologist, as I was fascinated with how the heart worked when I was studying biology at school. But I soon realised that ENT had more surgical qualities, and would take me into fascinating areas. And here I am!” 


What do you do outside of work? 


“I’ve got two young children, so we’re kept pretty busy with them. Whenever possible, I love getting out into the Great Outdoors. I love hiking and road-cycling and we recently did a hike up Mt Taranaki, complete with ice picks and winter gear. It was fun!” 


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