What is Otolaryngology?


Otolaryngology (ō’tō-lar-ing-gol’ŏ-jē), commonly referred to as ENT (ear, nose, & throat) or Otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, combines both medical and surgical treatments to cover a broad range of conditions of the head and neck region.  Essentially, it involves all areas from the clavicles up, excluding the bulb of the eye, and with a few exceptions, remains outside of the dura;   “from pleura to dura”.



US residency programs in otolaryngology consists of a minimum of 5 years training.  The first year, the intern year, is comprised of a series of rotations within different specialties as mandated by ACGME (minimum 5-months in at least 3 of the following: general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, or surgical oncology; mandatory 1-month in each of the following: emergency medicine, critical care, anesthesia, neurosurgery; additional maximum of 3 months in otolaryngology).  The following four years are dedicated to graduated training within the specialty.  The final year of education culminates in a requisite chief year. 

 2008 Training Statistics & Graduates’ Career Plans

What subspecialties exist within the field? (fellowship links)

    General Otolaryngology

    Head & Neck Oncology

    Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery

    Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery


    Pediatric Otolaryngology