Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Surgery
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Phone: (301) 295-3155
Fax: (301) 295-3627
Eric A. Elster, MD
CAPT, MC, USN
Patricia L. McKay, MD
CAPT, MC, USN
Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery is a specialty dedicated to caring for patients with diseases of the ears, nose and throat. Otolaryngology is the second oldest medical specialty established in 1924, (surprisingly before internal medicine, surgery and pediatrics, etc.). Otolaryngologists provide medical and surgical care for a wide variety of patient problems such as otitis media, pharyngitis, sinusitis, facial trauma, head and neck cancer, voice problems and airway obstruction.
Following medical school, interested individuals perform a one-year internship in surgery followed by a four-year residency in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Available training sites and points of contact for military programs include:
Subspecialty Training – after residency training approximately 30% of graduates elect to undertake additional focused/advanced training.
Arrange a 4th year clerkship in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. This experience will expose you to the health conditions patients suffer from and give you an idea if you would like to care for these patient problems. You will have the opportunity to speak with clinical faculty members about the life of an Otolaryngologist. You'll also be able to speak with ENT residents about expectations during the residency/GME training to see if this is good fit for you. Residents also can advise you on how to apply and what is needed to get into a program, they have the most recent info. Importantly, you can also meet with the Program Director during this time to obtain more specific information on admission requirements and the application process.
Preparing 4th Year Curriculum
Selection into an ENT residency will depend on several factors. One factor will be how well you do in your internship, especially in the first 4 to 5 months, the time just before the residency selection board meets. Consider the following. The reality of surgery internship is that it is more about learning to take care of very ill patients than learning how to perform the technical aspects of complex surgical procedures. The more rotations in medical school where you gain experience taking care of very ill patients, especially with surgical conditions, the better prepared you will be. Consider also, that as a practical matter, as an intern, you will often be called upon to "trouble shoot" the various devices and tubes ill patients are connected to. It will be immensely helpful if you are familiar with ventilators, chest tubes, GI suction machines, a-lines, central lines, Foley catheters, lumbar (CSF) drains, ventricular drains, etc. The more surgical rotations you take as a medical student, the more familiar you will be with surgical conditions, surgical equipment and the surgical culture; all this will better prepare you for a surgery internship.
Consider the Following Suggestions:
Additionally – Patients on these services often are ill and in the ICU and therefore provide key experiences to prepare for surgical internship.