Columbia Surgical Specialists

William R. Schmitt


Cochlear Implants

William R. Schmitt, MD

Dr. William Schmitt is an Otolaryngologist – Head and Neck Surgeon with expertise in disorders of the ear, temporal bone, and lateral skull base. Originally from the upper Midwest, undergraduate and medical school studies were completed at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha honor societies. He was accepted into the Mayo Clinic – Rochester Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) residency training program, where he gained exposure to the entire spectrum of ENT.

During his tenure, the department climbed the ranks of the U.S. News and World Report national rankings to its 2014 standing of #1 in America. After graduation, he chose to undertake fellowship training in otology, neuro-otology, and lateral skull base surgery at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. While there, he studied an international range of techniques and took advantage of every opportunity to explore “the bottom of the earth!”

Dr. Schmitt has authored several papers in the field of otology/neuro-otology, contributed to textbooks, presented research at national and international academic congresses, and given invited lectures. He enjoys participating in the rapidly evolving field of hearing restoration and seeks to deliver the most effective blend of time tested techniques and cutting edge technology to his patients.  He has experience serving the inland northwest, participating as a committee or board member with Columbia Surgical Specialists, Providence, MultiCare, and the HOPE School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.

Although a native of Wisconsin, Dr. Schmitt moved to the Inland Northwest with his wife and children in 2014.  He enjoys the wide range of recreational activities available within minutes of Spokane. He spends his free time on (and behind) the boat in the lakes north of town, fishing the rivers nearby, coaching ski racing at Schweitzer, and participating at church.

When delivering care, he often collaborates with broad teams of physicians and providers, including neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists, interventional radiologists, audiologists, vestibular therapists, speech therapists, teachers of the deaf, and hearing instrument dispensers.  Clinical interests include…

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Paraganglioma/Glomus tumor
  • Skull base meningioma
  • Cholesteatoma
  • Tympanic membrane (eardrum) perforation and retraction
  • Otosclerosis and stapes surgery
  • Sensorineural hearing loss and cochlear implants
  • Conductive hearing loss and bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA, Bonebridge, Osia)
  • External auditory canal stenosis, exostosis (surfer’s ear)
  • Facial nerve tumor and palsy
  • Meniere’s disease, BPPV, vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis
  • Superior semicircular canal dehiscence
  • Gamma knife radiosurgery