Clinical experience in this department is intense. Residents must be highly committed to maximizing all available learning opportunities. A resident’s initial surgical experience—routine myringotomy, adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy and tracheotomy—is soon supplemented with participation in endoscopic surgery and an increasing role in major head and neck procedures and otology cases. An emphasis on hands-on instruction allows each resident to gain experience in patient care and to begin crafting his or her surgical skills immediately. Residents are challenged to participate in the process of intraoperative decision-making and are considered active members of the treatment team.
During the program, each resident rotates through the Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery services at IU Health University Hospital, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Hospital and outpatient clinics. Clinical experience varies at the different sites, but residents have substantial operative involvement and are responsible for monitoring pre- and postoperative care. In some locations, residents may encounter a concentration of tertiary-care problems and procedures with opportunities to follow patients over time and assess outcomes of various interventions. At the VA Hospital, residents assume considerable responsibility for patient management and gain experience with a wide spectrum of otolaryngologic disorders.
Each hospital has an active, multidisciplinary tumor board and residents participate in weekly Head and Neck combined modality tumor conferences and clinics. This provides opportunity to interact one-on-one with oncologists, radiation oncologists and oral surgeons, and to see patients referred to faculty head and neck surgeons. Otology clinics at the various locations are supervised but allow residents greater autonomy and decision-making opportunities.