To Hear Again, To Sing Again

To Hear Again, To Sing Again

A Memoir by Ellis Douek, ENT Surgeon and Hearing Implant Pioneer

Ellis Douek


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This is an autobiography of Ellis Douek, one of the pioneers of hearing implants, whose name lives on through the middle ear device Douek-MED™. Shedding light on the life of a surgeon from the early days of the UK National Health Service, it not only covers the highlights of Douek's medical career but also contains sensational, no-holds-barred tales of his interactions from ordinary patients to well-known singers, kings, emperors and dictators. We read about a social dinner-turned-mass consultation session for the entire Cabinet; using an innovative hearing test to expose a financial scam; a wife who dumped her loyal husband after being cured; a curious encounter with Michael Jackson; and not getting paid by Gaddafi's staff, causing an epic coup by the Libyan dictator on his own embassy. It is at once unflinching and compassionate, offering a searingly honest firsthand account of his trailblazing journey to leave a mark in history.

Blending pioneering research and a unique episodic storytelling approach, To Hear Again, To Sing Again is a profound reflection on the relationship between doctor and patient, and one man's quest to make a difference in the world.


  • Preface
  • Looking Back
  • Doing 'Good'
  • Starting a Career
  • The Nose
  • Training
  • In Charge
  • Deaf Children
  • Research
  • Curing Deafness
  • Singers and Performers
  • Kings, Emperors, Dictators and the Like
  • The Wide World
  • Late Reflections
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Author
  • Index

Readership: General public interested in stories about doctors and patients, and a life in medical science / healthcare. Medical students, surgeons, ENT specialists and researchers.

There is widespread interest in aspects of a life spent in medical care and in aspects of medical sciences and related discoveries, on the part of others involved in such activities and on the part of the general public. It is seldom that we get to learn from Ear, Nose & Throat experts. This 10-chapter book by surgeon Dr Douek makes for great reading.' - Moyra Smith, Professor Emeritus, University of California Irvine, USA

'ENT surgeons are often seen as little interested in anything beyond the tonsils, but Ellis Douek was different. His book is a corrective which opens up a different world. He entertains us with the personal cases of his great and good patients who had interesting conditions well beyond the adenoids. But there is more. In a full professional career, he grappled with the mysteries of hearing, taste and smell, including the social consequences resulting when these senses don't work well or at all. Well written and believable, this is a page-turner.' - David Hamilton, Retired Surgeon and Honorary Senior Lecturer, St. Andrews University, UK

'Ellis's command of language illuminates the dialogue, making the reader feel his participation in real time.' - Kenneth H Brookler, ENT Surgeon and Research Collaborator, Mayo Clinic, USA

'The author has an international reputation for his work on deafness, and has published one of the definitive monographs on the subject. I highly recommend this book.' - Christopher H Naylor, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (Retired), UK

Key Features:

  • A gripping account of one of the pioneers of cochlear implants
  • Fascinating anecdotes about well-known singers, kings, emperors, dictators and philosophers