Training Requirements

Training programs in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in the United States are evaluated by the Residency Review Committee for Otolaryngology (RRC), which consists of representatives from the American Medical Association (AMA), the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the ABOHNS, and are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  Information concerning approved educational programs can be found in the Graduate Medical Education Directory published by the American Medical Association.

Individuals who enter otolaryngology-head and neck surgery training on or after July 1, 2016 must satisfactorily complete a minimum of five years of training, as specified below, in an ACGME-approved program(s):

Year must include six months of structured education on non-otolaryngology rotations designed to foster proficiency in the peri-operative care of surgical patients, inter-disciplinary care coordination, and airway management skills within the first year;

Six months of otolaryngology rotation designed to develop proficiency in basic surgical skills, general care of otolaryngology patients both in the inpatient setting and in the outpatient clinics, management of otolaryngology patients in emergency department, and cultivation of an otolaryngology knowledge base. This must include an intensive care rotation.

The total time a resident is assigned to any one non-otolaryngology rotation must be at least four weeks and must not exceed two months.

Rotations must be selected from the following: intensive care (required), anesthesia, general surgery, neurological surgery, neuroradiology, ophthalmology, oral-maxillofacial surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, radiation oncology, emergency medicine, and vascular surgery.

PGY 2-5 years – at least 48 months of progressive education in the specialty. This training must include a final year of senior experience. This final year must be spent within the accredited program in which the previous year of training was spent, unless prior approval is obtained from the ABOHNS.