Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery

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MD Education

The Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery department at the IU School of Medicine has a long and time-honored tradition of training both medical students pursuing a career in otolaryngology as well as those interested in other fields. This has been accomplished largely through direct patient contact experiences in both the clinic and the operating rooms, with a focus on hands-on, experiential learning. Students find that this department places a high value on tailoring its education to the needs of the learner.

Clinical Clerkship Rotations

Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery is one of the subspecialties medical students experience as part of their surgical rotation. This month-long program allows students to become acquainted with the scope of otolaryngology in both clinic and operating rooms, as the clerkship rotates amongst three different facilities: Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, IU Health University Hospital and Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center.

The otolaryngology clerkship experience gives medical students a glimpse into the medical specialty, treating issues related to hearing, sinus disease, skull base tumors, head and neck cancer, facial plastic surgery, trauma, head and neck reconstruction, throat, and voice while handling both medical and surgical management of these problems. Medical students in this rotation have the opportunity to learn basic, procedural skills as well as comprehensive head-and-neck clinical exams and assessments—all the while treating adults and children in both general and ear, nose and throat subspecialty experiences. This gives medical students an understanding of how simple illnesses can progress to the subspecialty level. At the same time, students work alongside faculty and residents, gaining a better understanding of how each role fits together as part of the medical team.

This clerkship is offered Monday through Friday. Call and weekend work can be completed at the discretion of the medical student.

Medical students involved in the Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery clerkship may find this resource useful: Primary Care Otolaryngology Online. Throughout the rotation, this is used as an adjunct text to cover the scope and breadth of Otolaryngology at the medical student level.

Elective courses within the Otolaryngology department are diversified to provide medical students advanced exposure to ENT treatments through both clinic and operating room settings. These courses are guided by the interests of the students and provide opportunities to experience the clinical settings at five hospitals and outpatient clinics in central Indiana. Through otolaryngology elective courses, students have the opportunity to work with neurotologists, head and neck surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, pediatric otolaryngologists, laryngologists, rhinologists, general otolaryngologists and microvascular reconstructive surgeons, exposing students to these subspecialties within ENT and increasing the student’s procedural skills for pathophysiologic problems of otolaryngology. Students also gain improved diagnostic skills, including fiber optic examinations, audiologic evaluations, and head and neck radiology. Students in these elective courses join faculty and residents in interdisciplinary conferences, such as aerodigestive, cochlear implant evaluations, pediatric and adult neuro-oncology, and head and neck tumor conferences. Students also join grand rounds lecture and didactic experiences. In addition to these elective courses, a research elective in ENT is also available.

Medical student research is an integral part of the otolaryngology educational experience. Faculty members value the opportunity to connect medical students interested in scholarship with research projects that suit their interests. Students have the opportunity to experience a wide array of clinical and research projects within the scope of otolaryngology. A research elective in ENT is available for students interested in otolaryngology-focused research.

Our Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery faculty members are vested in each student’s success. They actively provide informal mentorship to students interested in otolaryngology and will meet one-on-one to discuss how best to get into the field.

Visiting students must submit requests for rotation through the AAMC Visiting Student Application Service. Located on the AAMC site under “Services,” the Visiting Student Application Service is an AAMC application designed for medical students to apply for senior electives at U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals.