Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery

Clinical Training


First year residents will have their year split among ENT and non-ENT services. Roughly 6 months of the year is devoted to Otolaryngology with the other 6 months split into various rotations including Anesthesia, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Trauma Surgery, SICU, Neurosurgery, and Plastic Surgery. By the end of the PGY-1 year, the otolaryngology resident will be expected to perform a comprehensive history & physical exam, manage floor patients, work up consults, assist in closing operations, perform a flexible nasopharyngolaryngoscopy exam, and manage maxillofacial lacerations to name a few.


Second year is traditionally the most challenging but also rewarding for residents, as this is the year where they become junior subspecialists. By the end of PGY-2 the resident should be able to perform the following under supervision of attendings and senior residents: a comprehensive history and physical examination for evaluation of patients presenting with complaints referable to the head and neck region and order appropriate laboratories and radiographs; soft tissue surgery; endoscopies; septoplasties; simple mastoidectomies; antral surgery; minor oncologic surgery; and repair of maxillofacial injuries.


Third year revolves around expanding a resident’s knowledgebase and clinical skill set. The PGY-3 resident thus begins to gain a broad-based exposure with dedicated rotations specifically targeting otologic surgery and pediatric oncology. They will also get broad clinical exposure to facial plastic surgery, rhinologic surgery, general otolaryngology/sleep surgery, and laryngology. By the end of this year they will be able to demonstrate an ability to teach medical students and junior residents.


Fourth year residents continue to expand their skills and fund of knowledge in otology, facial plastic surgery, laryngology, pediatric otolaryngology, and head and neck oncology. During the PGY-3/4 years dedicated research time is provided with supervision for basic science or clinical faculty. During this year the research work will mature hopefully facilitating various publications and presentations. The PGY-4 resident will begin to take on a “chief role” demonstrating an ability to train junior residents, run a clinical service and function autonomously.


Fifth year is about honing surgical skills and developing confidence with clinical decision making prior to solo practice. During this year residents will already be able to perform general otolaryngologic procedures independently and will take on highly complex surgeries including advanced endoscopic sinus/skull base surgery, temporal bone surgery, various head & neck oncologic procedures, airway surgery, sleep surgeries (including hypoglossal nerve stimulation) and facial plastic & reconstructive surgery. All PGY-5 residents take on “chief level” responsibilities which include running inpatient clinical services, assisting with residency administration, and advancing skills in practice management & quality improvement.