Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery


Residency Program

The residency program at the IU School of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery offers the full breadth and training within this field, covering every subspecialty of otolaryngology. Residents learn from faculty members with advanced training and expertise in head and neck oncology and reconstructive surgery, laryngology, pediatric otolaryngology, neurotology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and endoscopic sinus surgery. Yet the program isn’t limited to a future physician’s training and graduating. Department faculty members serve as professional mentors to residents for the rest of their careers.

This training experience prepares residents to care for patients of all ages with medical and surgical disorders of the upper aerodigestive system, ears, and other structures of the head and neck. Upon completing this residency program, residents will have exceeded the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Residency Review Committee for Otolaryngology. Rotations optimize training in a variety of otolaryngology subspecialties, including neurotology, facial plastic and reconstruction, pediatric otolaryngology, laryngology, rhinology, and head and neck oncologic surgery.

After completing the Otolaryngology residency program at IU School of Medicine, most physicians (about 60 percent) enter a fellowship program in fields such as endoscopic sinus surgery, facial plastics and reconstruction, head and neck cancer, and otology/neurolology. The other 40 percent go straight to work. After residency, about half of IU School of Medicine Otolaryngology residents go into academics; the other half go into private practice/hospital base.

Clinical Experience with Specialty Experts

The Clinical Track of the otolaryngology residency program includes five years beyond graduation from medical school. In year one, residents focus on general surgery residency at IU Health University Hospital and affiliated hospitals. For the remaining 48 months, resident training in Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery occurs in hospitals affiliated with the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

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.

“We recognize that people who are satisfied with their educational experience will approach each day willing and motivated to work hard to advance the field of medicine. We promote an environment of collegiality to respect and encourage our residents within this program.”
Dr. Taha Shipchandler, Otolaryngology Residency Program Director

Global Experience

Several opportunities are available at IU School of Medicine for residents to volunteer in a medical mission in resource-limited communities outside of the United States. Otolaryngology residents have participated in Vietnam Facial Plastics, Nicaragua Facial Plastics (clefts) and AMPATH-Kenya (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare). Residents who participate in a global experience receive funding support from the department.

The AMPATH-Kenya program, pioneered by IU School of Medicine, is among the largest collaborative healthcare efforts in the world. At any given time, 20-40 Indiana University School of Medicine faculty physicians from various specialties are practicing medicine in Kenya at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. Otolaryngology faculty and residents participate for one to two weeks at a time to treat head and neck tumors, thyroid disease, cleft lip and palate, facial deformities, and hearing loss.

Salary and Benefits

IU School of Medicine provides residents with a competitive salary and benefits package. The Department of Otolaryngology funds each resident for expenses on books, iPads, loupes, trauma courses and conference travel expenses (if presenting and oral presentation or poster).

PGY1s and PGY2s are allotted three weeks of vacation per year. PGY3s, PGY4s, and PGY5s are allotted four weeks of vacation per year.