Carlos Ayala, M.D., FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon and Otolaryngologist, Ayala ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery

Carlos Ayala, M.D., FACS has been recognized as an Expert Network Distinguished Professional.

Carlos Ayala is a distinguished doctor. From providing care to wounded U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, to treating underserved populations back in the homeland, he has dedicated his career as an Otolaryngologist and Facial Plastic Surgeon to serving those who are most in need.

From humble beginnings, Dr. Ayala overcame tremendous adversity to acheive his life long goal of becoming a doctor. Dr. Ayala was raised by his single mother in the south Bronx during a time when the borough was experiencing severe urban decay. Growing up in that environment motivated the young Ayala to make something of himself. 

As Dr. Ayala tells it, it was his mother, who moved to New York from Puerto Rico, who instilled in him the drive to achieve his dreams. When he was young his mother was diagnosed with Lupus. Because she didn't speak very much English, Dr. Ayala would accompany her to doctors appointments where he would translate what the doctor said into Spanish. Watching those doctors, he was inspired by their profound ability to make a difference in people's lives. From that point on, Ayala knew he wanted to go into medicine.

My mother instilled in me the desire to do more and to do it better with hard work and education. I was always around doctors and I knew I always wanted to be just like these doctors that were helping my Mom.

After finishing high school, Dr. Ayala couldn't afford college, and so took a different route towards acheiving his dream. He joined the military. There, he worked in a Navy hospital while applying for scholarships to go to college. His hard work paid off and he received an academic scholarship from the U.S. Navy to attend Nursing School at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Dr. Ayala excelled in school and went on to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, finishing at the top of his class and earning him a commission as a Navy officer. 

Dr. Ayala continued on in the Navy, where he was sent on several humanitarian medical missions abroad. While applying to medical school, he was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to help with the Cuban and Hatian refugee crisis taking place there. Upon his return, he earned a scholarship to attend medical school from the U.S. Air Force. The letters requesting him for an interview began flowing in from schools around the country. Ayala went to interview with Professor Vincente Honrubia, a professor in Otorhinolaryngology and the director of research at UCLA. Impressed by the precocious Dr. Ayala, Dr. Honrubia extended a letter of acceptance.

While at UCLA, Dr. Ayala studied both under Dr. Honrubia, and under Professor Louis J. Ignarro, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology. Dr. Ignarro was so impressed with the medical student that he wrote him a letter of recommendation. Armed with the letter, Ayala landed a residency at the top otolaryngology program in the united states, The Harvard Otolarynology Residency Program.

Since becoming a doctor, Dr. Ayala’s career has taken a meteoric rise. He began practicing as an Otolaryngologist with the U.S. Air Force, where his success earned him numerous military medals, including a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and three Meritorious Service Medals. 

As a leader in his field, Dr. Ayala’s achievements extend beyond the military. He has received many awards and recognitions from civilian institutions, including being named one of ‘America’s Top Physicians’ in five separate years by Consumer Research Council of America. Dr. Ayala is also well known for his extensive research. He has published articles in a number of peer-reviewed journals and has co-authored his own USMLE Board Review Series called Boards & Wards for the USMLE.

Dr. Ayala retired from the military in 2013 as a Lieutenant Colonel. His old teacher and mentor, Dr. Honrubia, inspired Dr. Ayala to go work in the underserved area of the Rio Grande Valley in Southern Texas, where his talent would be put to good use. He now lives in McAllen, Texas where he runs his private practice, Ayala ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery. He is the first Harvard Residency trained Otolaryngologist in the Rio Grande Valley, and knows the challenges of serving such an area.

I knew what my purpose was and I knew what needed to be done, so I see those challenges as part of my life.


Detailed Career Information

Carlos Ayala received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from State University of New York, Binghamton where he graduated with Sigma Theta Tau honors. He received his medical degree from UCLA School of Medicine in 1999, where he graduated with Alpha Omega Alpha honors. He completed an internship in general surgery and a residency in otolaryngology at Harvard School of Medicine. He completed a Fellowship sponsored by the American Academy of Facial Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery, with Dr. Andrew Frankel at the prestigious Lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills California, and additional training at the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course, earning him his wings as a Flight Surgeon.

Dr. Ayala currently runs his own private practice in McAllen, Texas, Ayala ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery, PLLC. He is also an ENT Elective Physician Assistant Preceptor at UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Military Medical School the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine. Additionally he also has held the following academic positions: Clinical Instructor at USC Medical School during his Facial Plastic Surgery Fellowship at Lasky Clinic (2009-2010), Volunteer Clinical Instructor at UCLA (2009-2010), covering ENT residents at West LA Veterans Administration Hospital, Clinical Fellow in Otology & Laryngology (2000-2004) and in Surgery (1999-2000) at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Ayala has received numerous awards and recognitions over the course of his career, including the Patients Choice Award and Most Compassionate Physician Award from in 2011, being named one of “America’s Top Physicians" on 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014 by Consumer Research Council of America, being personally recognized by Vice Admiral Eric Thor Olsen, Deputy Commander of Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for Medical Support to SOCOM mission in 2007, being named Air Mobility Command “Surgeon of the Year” (Surgical Excellence Award) in 2007, the 2nd Place Resident Presentation Award from the New England Otolaryngology Society in 2003, the William G. Figueroa Award for Dedication to underserved Communities in 1999, the Franklin C. Mclean, and William and Charlotte Cadbury Awards in 1998, being nominated Top Minority Medical Student in the United States, 1st prize in Otolaryngology from the Paul H. Ward M.D. Society Research Symposium in 1998, and the Residents Award for Best Research Presentation.

Dr. Ayala is Board Certified in Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery, and Board Eligible in Sleep Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, American College of Surgeons (Fellow), and American Academy of Sleep Medicine.