Michael Cunningham MD FACS

Michael J. Cunningham, MD, FACS

Otolaryngologist-in-Chief, Gerald B. Healy Chair in Pediatric Otolaryngology

Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School

    Contact: 617-355-6462
  • Fax: 617-730-0611

Medical Services


  • Head and Neck Tumors
  • Otolaryngology
  • Sinus Surgery
  • Thyroid Surgery
  • Thyroglossal Duct Cyst
  • Branchial cleft anomalies


  • Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement


  • Otolaryngology Program
  • Sinus Surgery Program
To schedule an appointment: Call 617-355-6462 or Request an Appointment

Experience and Education


Undergraduate School

Princeton University, 1977

Princeton, NJ

Medical School

University of Rochester School of Medicine, 1981

Rochester, NY

Residency, Pediatrics

Massachusetts General Hospital (Children's Service), 1983

Boston, MA

Internship, General Surgery

University of Massachusetts Coordinated Surgical Program, 1984

Worcester, MA

Residency, Otolaryngology

University of Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Hospital, 1988

Pittsburgh, PA

Fellowship, Otology and Laryngology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 1989

Boston, MA


  • American Board of Otolaryngology

Professional History

Michael J. Cunningham, M.D. is a graduate of Princeton University (1977) and the Rochester University School of Medicine (1981). He completed Pediatrics training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Otolaryngology training at the University of Pittsburgh. He has practiced as a pediatric otolaryngologist in Boston since 1989. 

He is currently Otolaryngologist-in-Chief of the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Otology and Laryngology at the Harvard Medical School.

He is the previous Director of the Harvard Residency Program in Otolaryngology, and presently serves as vice chair of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education committee responsible for overseeing otolaryngology residency and fellowship training in the United States. 

He has played an active role in many professional societies.  He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Section on Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery of the American Academy of Pediatrics from 1996-2006, serving as chair from 1998-2002. He additionally chaired the AAP Surgery Advisory Panel, also known as the Surgical Sections Action Group, from 2002-2006. He is a past treasurer and president of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, and a past president of the New England Otolaryngological Society. 


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles
  1. Irace AL, Shank C, Adil EA, Cunningham MJ, Kawai K, Sideridis G, Rahbar R. Changes in Scope of Procedures Performed by Pediatric Otolaryngologists in the Past Decade. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Feb 22.
  2. Stobie CS, Oosthuizen CJ, Cunningham MJ, Bloomer P. Exploring the phylogeography of a hexaploid freshwater fish by RAD sequencing. Ecol Evol. 2018 Feb; 8(4):2326-2342.
  3. Jabbour J, Robey T, Cunningham MJ. Healthcare disparities in pediatric otolaryngology: A systematic review. Laryngoscope. 2017 Nov 20.
  4. Lehmann AE, Kozin ED, Sethi RKV, Wong K, Lin BM, Gray ST, Cunningham MJ. Resident responses to after-hours otolaryngology patient phone calls: An overlooked aspect of residency training? Laryngoscope. 2017 Aug 07.
  5. Bergmark RW, Ishman SL, Phillips KM, Cunningham MJ, Sedaghat AR. Emergency department use for acute rhinosinusitis: Insurance dependent for children and adults. Laryngoscope. 2018 Feb; 128(2):299-303.
  6. Cunningham MJ. Posttonsillectomy Hemorrhage in the Ibuprofen Era: Not Just How Frequent but How Much. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Jul 01; 143(7):649-650.
  7. Hobson JG, Cunningham MJ, Lesiak K, Lester EB, Tegeder AR, Zeeck E, Hugh JM, Lin JH. Isotretinoin Monitoring Trends: A National Survey of Dermatologists. J Drugs Dermatol. 2017 Jun 01; 16(6):557-564.
  8. Maswanganye KA, Cunningham MJ, Bennett NC, Chimimba CT, Bloomer P. Life on the rocks: Multilocus phylogeography of rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) from southern Africa. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2017 Sep; 114:49-62.
  9. Puram SV, Doody J, Cunningham MJ. A Young Boy With Progressive Dysphonia. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Mar 01; 143(3):313-314.
  10. Wolter NE, Siegele B, Cunningham MJ. Cystic cervical teratoma: A diagnostic and management challenge. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Apr; 95:97-100.
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  12. Gantwerker EA, Bannos C, Cunningham MJ, Rahbar R. Surgical scheduling categorization system (SSCS): A novel classification system to improve coordination and scheduling of operative cases in a tertiary pediatric medical system. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Jan; 92:156-160.
  13. Adil EA, Kawai K, Dombrowski N, Irace AL, Cunningham MJ. Nasal versus tracheobronchial biopsies to diagnose primary ciliary dyskinesia: A meta-analysis. Laryngoscope. 2017 Jan; 127(1):6-13.
  14. Shin JJ, Cunningham MJ, Emerick KG, Gray ST. Measuring Nontechnical Aspects of Surgical Clinician Development in an Otolaryngology Residency Training Program. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 05 01; 142(5):423-8.
  15. McLaughlin EJ, Cunningham MJ, Kazahaya K, Hsing J, Kawai K, Adil EA. Endoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation-Assisted Resection of Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma: Comparison with Traditional Endoscopic Technique. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 06; 154(6):1145-8.
  16. Brodsky JR, Cunningham MJ. Letter to the Editor regarding "Tonsillectomy versus Tonsillotomy: A Study of Parental Preference". Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2015 Oct; 79(10):1788-9.
  17. Bergmark RW, Ishman SL, Scangas GA, Cunningham MJ, Sedaghat AR. Insurance status and quality of outpatient care for uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Jun; 141(6):505-11.
  18. Bergmark RW, Ishman SL, Scangas GA, Cunningham MJ, Sedaghat AR. Socioeconomic determinants of overnight and weekend emergency department use for acute rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope. 2015 Nov; 125(11):2441-6.
  19. Scangas GA, Ishman SL, Bergmark RW, Cunningham MJ, Sedaghat AR. Emergency department presentation for uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis is associated with poor access to healthcare. Laryngoscope. 2015 Oct; 125(10):2253-8.
  20. Brigger MT, Cunningham MJ. Malignant cervical masses in children. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2015 Feb; 48(1):59-77.
  21. Lennon P, Silvera VM, Perez-Atayde A, Cunningham MJ, Rahbar R. Disorders and tumors of the salivary glands in children. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2015 Feb; 48(1):153-73.
  22. Wang JC, Hamood AN, Saadeh C, Cunningham MJ, Yim MT, Cordero J. Strategies to prevent biofilm-based tympanostomy tube infections. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Sep; 78(9):1433-8.
  23. Sedaghat AR, Cunningham MJ, Ishman SL. Regional and socioeconomic disparities in emergency department use of radiographic imaging for acute pediatric sinusitis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2014 Jan-Feb; 28(1):23-8.
  24. Sedaghat AR, Phipatanakul W, Cunningham MJ. Characterization of aeroallergen sensitivities in children with allergic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis. Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2014 Jan; 5(3):143-5.
  25. Sedaghat AR, Phipatanakul W, Cunningham MJ. Prevalence of and associations with allergic rhinitis in children with chronic rhinosinusitis. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Feb; 78(2):343-7.
  26. Sedaghat AR, Wilke CO, Cunningham MJ, Ishman SL. Socioeconomic disparities in the presentation of acute bacterial sinusitis complications in children. Laryngoscope. 2014 Jul; 124(7):1700-6.
  27. Sedaghat AR, Phipatanakul W, Cunningham MJ. Atopy and the Development of Chronic Rhinosinusitis in Children with Allergic Rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2013 Nov 01; 6(1):689-691.e2.
  28. Sedaghat AR, Cunningham MJ, Busaba NY. Connexin 32 and 43 mutations: do they play a role in chronic rhinosinusitis? Am J Otolaryngol. 2014 Jan-Feb; 35(1):33-6.
  29. Sedaghat AR, Phipatanakul W, Cunningham MJ. Atopy and the development of chronic rhinosinusitis in children with allergic rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2013 Nov-Dec; 1(6):689-91.e1-2.
  30. Colello SS, Cunningham MJ, Robson CD, Teot LA. Radiology quiz case 1. Diagnosis: congenital cervical teratoma. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Jun; 139(6):643-5.
  31. Intlekofer KA, Berchtold NC, Malvaez M, Carlos AJ, McQuown SC, Cunningham MJ, Wood MA, Cotman CW. Exercise and sodium butyrate transform a subthreshold learning event into long-term memory via a brain-derived neurotrophic factor-dependent mechanism. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 Sep; 38(10):2027-34.
  32. Sedaghat AR, Busaba NY, Cunningham MJ, Kieff DA. Clinical assessment is an accurate predictor of which patients will need septoplasty. Laryngoscope. 2013 Jan; 123(1):48-52.
  33. Kakarala K, Faquin WC, Cunningham MJ. Radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction of the inferior turbinate in a sheep model. Laryngoscope. 2012 Apr; 122(4):724-9.
  34. Wuthrich VM, Rapee RM, Cunningham MJ, Lyneham HJ, Hudson JL, Schniering CA. A randomized controlled trial of the Cool Teens CD-ROM computerized program for adolescent anxiety. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2012 Mar; 51(3):261-70.
  35. Dwojak SM, Hunt JL, Cunningham MJ. Pathology quiz case 3. Neuroblastoma with cervical metastases. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Jan; 138(1):99-101.
  36. Intlekofer KA, Cunningham MJ, Caplan AL. The HPV vaccine controversy. Virtual Mentor. 2012 Jan 01; 14(1):39-49.
  37. Sedaghat AR, Cunningham MJ. Does balloon catheter sinuplasty have a role in the surgical management of pediatric sinus disease? Laryngoscope. 2011 Oct; 121(10):2053-4.
  38. Baig S, Cunningham MJ. Otolaryngology education in family medicine and communication sciences training. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Oct; 137(10):984-8.
  39. Sedaghat AR, Gallagher TQ, Sadow PM, Cunnane ME, Cunningham MJ. Radiology quiz case 2. Pediatric base of tongue thyroglossal duct cyst (TGDC). Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Sep; 137(9):955, 956-7.
  40. Cunningham MJ, Lin AC. Pediatric otolaryngology: The maturation of a pediatric surgical subspecialty. Laryngoscope. 2011 Jan; 121(1):194-201.
  41. Wang JC, Cunningham MJ. Congenital dacryocystocele: is there a familial predisposition? Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Mar; 75(3):430-2.
  42. Swayamprakasam AP, Stover E, Norgett E, Blake-Palmer KG, Cunningham MJ, Karet FE. Importance of early audiologic assessment in distal renal tubular acidosis. Int Med Case Rep J. 2011; 4:7-11.
  43. Liao S, Durand ML, Cunningham MJ. Sinogenic orbital and subperiosteal abscesses: microbiology and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus incidence. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Sep; 143(3):392-6.
  44. Kakarala K, Brigger MT, Faquin WC, Hartnick CJ, Cunningham MJ. Cystic pilomatrixoma: a diagnostic challenge. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Aug; 136(8):830-3.
  45. Brigger MT, Cunningham MJ, Hartnick CJ. Dexamethasone administration and postoperative bleeding risk in children undergoing tonsillectomy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Aug; 136(8):766-72.
  46. Jung D, Cunnane ME, Cunningham MJ. Radiology quiz case 2. Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (JNA), Radkowski grade Ib. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jul; 136(7):741-3.
  47. Perkins JA, Manning SC, Tempero RM, Cunningham MJ, Edmonds JL, Hoffer FA, Egbert MA. Lymphatic malformations: current cellular and clinical investigations. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jun; 142(6):789-94.
  48. Perkins JA, Manning SC, Tempero RM, Cunningham MJ, Edmonds JL, Hoffer FA, Egbert MA. Lymphatic malformations: review of current treatment. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jun; 142(6):795-803, 803.e1.
  49. Shin JJ, Page JH, Shapiro J, Gray ST, Cunningham MJ. Validation of a clinical practice ability instrument for surgical training. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Apr; 142(4):493-9.e1.
  50. Richer SL, Yelken K, Cunningham MJ, Randolph GW, Franco RA. Hypopharyngeal pharyngoplasty for the management of piriform fossa sinus. Laryngoscope. 2010 Mar; 120(3):500-3.
  51. Benoit MM, North PE, McKenna MJ, Mihm MC, Johnson MM, Cunningham MJ. Facial nerve hemangiomas: vascular tumors or malformations? Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jan; 142(1):108-14.
  52. Manolis EN, Filippou DK, Tsoumakas C, Diomidous M, Cunningham MJ, Katostaras T, Weber AL, Eavey RD. Radiologic evaluation of the ear anatomy in pediatric cholesteatoma. J Craniofac Surg. 2009 May; 20(3):807-10.
  53. Lin HW, O'Neill A, Cunningham MJ. Ludwig's angina in the pediatric population. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2009 Jul; 48(6):583-7.
  54. White WM, Randolph GW, Hartnick CJ, Cunningham MJ. Recurrent laryngeal nerve monitoring during thyroidectomy and related cervical procedures in the pediatric population. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009 Jan; 135(1):88-94.
  55. BuSaba NY, Cunningham MJ. Connexin 26 and 30 genes mutations in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope. 2008 Feb; 118(2):310-3.
  56. Nguyen HT, Faquin WC, Weinstein HJ, Cunningham MJ. Pathology quiz case 2. Diagnosis: follicular lymphoma (FL), grade 3, pediatric type. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Oct; 133(10):1063, 1065-6.
  57. Tang MH, Caruso PA, Cunningham MJ. Radiology quiz case 2. Dual ectopic subhyoid and lingual thyroids. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Sep; 133(9):941-2, 943-4.
  58. Cunningham MJ, Lin DT, Curry WT, Ebb DH, Yock TI, Curtin HD, Faquin WC. Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Case 20-2007. An 11-year-old boy with a calcified mass in the nose. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jun 28; 356(26):2721-30.
  59. Hartnick CJ, Boseley ME, Franco RA, Cunningham MJ, Pransky S. Efficacy of treating children with anterior commissure and true vocal fold respiratory papilloma with the 585-nm pulsed-dye laser. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Feb; 133(2):127-30.
  60. Lewis CM, Caruso P, Cunningham MJ. Parapharyngeal space lymphadenopathy. Pediatr Radiol. 2007 Mar; 37(3):313-6.
  61. Cunningham MJ. Endoscopic management of pediatric nasolacrimal anomalies. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2006 Oct; 39(5):1059-74, viii-ix.
  62. Biller CK, Antonacci AC, Pelletier S, Homel P, Spann C, Cunningham MJ, Eavey RD. The 80-hour work guidelines and resident survey perceptions of quality. J Surg Res. 2006 Oct; 135(2):275-81.
  63. Boseley ME, Cunningham MJ, Volk MS, Hartnick CJ. Validation of the Pediatric Voice-Related Quality-of-Life survey. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Jul; 132(7):717-20.
  64. Lister MT, Cunningham MJ, Benjamin B, Williams M, Tirrell A, Schaumberg DA, Hartnick CJ. Microdebrider tonsillotomy vs electrosurgical tonsillectomy: a randomized, double-blind, paired control study of postoperative pain. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Jun; 132(6):599-604.
  65. Emerick KS, Cunningham MJ. Tubal tonsil hypertrophy: a cause of recurrent symptoms after adenoidectomy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Feb; 132(2):153-6.
  66. Chien W, Faquin WC, Caruso PA, Rabinov JD, Cunningham MJ. Radiology quiz case 4. Intramuscular angioma (IMA). Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Nov; 131(11):1026, 1030.
  67. Evans AK, Cunningham MJ. Atypical mycobacterial cervicofacial lymphadenitis in children: a disease as old as mankind, yet a persistent challenge. Am J Otolaryngol. 2005 Sep-Oct; 26(5):337-43.
  68. Mehta RP, Faquin WC, Cunningham MJ. Cervical bronchogenic cysts: a consideration in the differential diagnosis of pediatric cervical cystic masses. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2004 May; 68(5):563-8.
  69. Cherukupally SR, Mankarious LA, Faquin W, Cunningham MJ. Pediatric non-orbital pseudotumor of the head and neck. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 Jun; 67(6):649-53.
  70. Fechner FP, Cunningham MJ, Eavey RD. Laser therapy for refractory myringitis in children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002 Sep; 127(3):163-8.
To schedule an appointment: Call 617-355-6462 or Request an Appointment


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