Benjamin McGrew, MD, FACS, an Otolaryngologist with Alabama Ear Specialists

Get to know Otolaryngologist Dr. Benjamin McGrew, who serves patients in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. McGrew is a board-certified and fellowship-trained otolaryngologist with vast experience in treating medical and surgical diseases of the ear. He has performed thousands of surgeries for chronic infections of the ear, cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, hearing loss, and an extensive spectrum of rare and common otologic pathologies alike. 

In 2019, despite a successful, busy, and fulfilling university practice, Dr. McGrew was excited to pursue a dream to form an elite group of fellowship-trained and board-certified neurotologists.  A partnership between him, Dr. Dennis Pappas Jr., and Dr. Grayson Rodgers began and allowed the formation of the only medical practice in the region composed purely of fellowship-trained ear surgeons with practices that focus solely on ear disease and tumors of the adjacent skull base.  This unique partnership, Alabama Ear Specialists, provides a combined experience of more than 75 years, treating ear disease with synergy in expertise and collaboration for complex and difficult problems of hearing, dizziness, the ear, and skull base.

A 1993 graduate of the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, Dr. McGrew went on to serve his internship in general surgery and residency in otolaryngology at West Virginia University. After completing residency and obtaining board certification in otolaryngology and neurotology, he sought to focus his career on ear surgery and cranial base surgery by obtaining additional training in the subspecialties of otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery.

He was accepted into a prestigious two-year fellowship in otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery under the direction of internationally acclaimed ear surgeons, Dr. Michael Glasscock and Dr. C. Gary Jackson, at The Otology Group in Nashville, Tennessee in association with Vanderbilt University.

Thereafter, he was recruited to Honolulu, Hawaii and began his career as the only neurotologist in the state. While in Hawaii, he performed ear surgery on patients living throughout the pacific rim, including the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, Taiwan, Japan, Fiji, multiple small pacific islands, and the western coastal United States. His skull base surgery experience developed further in Hawaii after he partnered in a skull base surgery program with a world-renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Takanori Fukushima. He also traveled to Japan with Dr. Fukushima, lecturing across the country on methods of skull base surgery.

Gaining years of experience, Dr. McGrew was then recruited to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) specifically to develop a skull base surgery program in 2002. He practiced at UAB for 17 years, holding joint academic appointments in the departments of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery. At UAB, he served as the Medical Director for the Department of Otolaryngology for more than 10 years. He trained over 100 otolaryngology and neurosurgery residents who now practice across the country.

He partnered with neurosurgeon Dr. Winfield Fisher III and successfully developed a thriving Skull Base Surgery program. Together, they removed over 700 tumors of the skull base, including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, paragangliomas, and other rare tumors. To date, Dr. McGrew has the largest cohort of surgeries for malignant cancers of the ear and temporal bone in the world.

In order to restore hearing in deaf patients, he greatly expanded the cochlear implant program  and brought Auditory Brainstem Implants to the State of Alabama. He and Dr. Fisher III placed the first Auditory Brainstem Implant in the State of Alabama, allowing restoration of hearing by direct electrical stimulation of the brainstem in patients with deafness caused by certain types of brain tumors.

A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), Dr. McGrew has served his community, often dedicating 30% of his time for treatment of ear diseases in the indigent population through the University system and county hospital system. He has also served the country’s veterans by treating ear disease through the Veteran’s Administration Hospital systems for more than 20 years. 

Otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists, also known as ear, nose, and throat doctors, specialize in disorders of the head and neck, ranging from hearing loss to cancer. 

Dedicated to his profession, Dr. McGrew has lectured regionally, nationally, and internationally. He has also published numerous scientific studies in the field of otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery.

Learn More about Dr. Benjamin McGrew:

Through his findatopdoc profile, or through Alabama Ear Specialists,


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Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is an Associate Content manager for FindaTopDoc and responsible for working with distinguished physicians in documenting their significant accomplishments in their field. Karen is a CPR instructor and is a member of her local theater group.