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Two fellows wearing scrubs in a simulation room with computer screens looking at the inside of a throat

Trainee experience

The Physician Assistant Fellowship in Otolaryngology is a comprehensive 12-month program. Core competencies have been established in the evaluation and management of various head and neck disorders.

Physician assistants provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive health care services under the supervision of physicians. During the fellowship, the fellow is assigned a supervising physician who provides proper supervision in accordance with Arizona state law and Mayo Clinic practice guidelines for physician assistants.

By the end of the fellowship year, you will have:

Performed minor office procedures

  • Obtaining a patient history
  • Head and neck physical examination
  • Ordering diagnostic studies
  • Formulating a differential diagnosis
  • Radiographic interpretation
  • Applied pharmacology

Exhibited a working knowledge of relevant disease entities

  • Ear pathology
    • Infections
    • Trauma
    • Tumors (cholesteatoma, glomus tumors, acoustic neuromas)
    • Facial nerve disorders
    • Vertigo and imbalance
    • Hearing disorders
  • Nose and sinus pathology
    • Infections
    • Trauma
    • Sinonasal tumors
    • Allergic disorders
    • Smell disorders
    • Epistaxis
    • Sinus disease
  • Pharyngeal and oral cavity pathology
    • Infections
    • Trauma
    • Oral cavity and oropharyngeal tumors
    • Taste disorders
    • Odontogenic pathology
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Laryngeal pathology
    • Infections
    • Trauma
    • Tumors
    • Voice disorders
    • Swallow disorders
  • Neck pathology
    • Infections
    • Trauma
    • Tumors (lymphoma, metastatic disease)
    • Thyroid gland disorders
    • Parathyroid gland disorders
    • Airway management
    • Tracheotomy management
    • Laryngectomy management
    • Salivary gland disorders

Exhibited a working knowledge of relevant skills and procedures

  • Ear pathology
  • Microscopic otoscopy
  • Myringotomy
  • Pressure-equalizing tube placement
  • Cerumen removal and external auditory canal debridement
  • Rigid nasal endoscopy
  • Nasal packing and control of epistaxis
  • Flexible nasolaryngoscopy
  • Tracheotomy tube placement and maintenance
  • Transesophageal puncture tube placement and maintenance
  • Wound care and management
  • Airway management
  • Suturing and suture removal

Successfully completed rotations

  • Head and neck — microvascular reconstructive surgery
  • Head and neck — transoral laser microsurgery
  • Otology
  • Rhinology and sinus surgery
  • Laryngology and allergy
  • Pediatric otolaryngology
  • Facial plastic surgery
  • Radiation oncology
  • Audiology
  • Speech and swallow therapy

Successfully completed assessments

  • Weekly otolaryngology topic review
  • Inpatient teaching rounds with attending physician and physician assistant staff
  • Weekly multidisciplinary head and neck tumor board
  • Bimonthly head and neck radiology conference
  • Weekly otolaryngology core curriculum
  • Bimonthly otolaryngology journal club
  • Monthly morbidity and mortality conference
  • Weekly case study review with attending physician
  • Midyear written examination
  • End-year manuscript

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the best education programs. The curriculum and other aspects of this program are routinely assessed and changed as necessary to ensure the highest quality training.

Schedule and hours

For the majority of the fellowship, your learning schedule includes 10-hour days, five days a week including weekends and nights. All hours worked are in accordance with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) medical resident hour restrictions. You take shared ENT call an average of eight times a month, including overnight call and at least one weekend each month.

Department and faculty

The Physician Assistant Fellowship in Otolaryngology is coordinated and taught by the clinical, scientific, and technical staff of Mayo Clinic. Faculty members are chosen for their commitment to teaching, as well as their clinical practice and research. Many have published and lectured extensively and are highly regarded in their fields.

The Mayo Clinic campus in Arizona is home to eleven full-time staff otolaryngologists, a staff oral and maxillofacial surgeon, eight staff otolaryngology physician assistants, and 10 otolaryngology resident physicians. This dedicated team educates, supervises, and mentors you during your rotations.

The Department of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery in Arizona provides evaluation, management and surgical services for problems pertaining to the ear, nose, sinus, mouth, throat, head and neck.

Diagnostic and therapeutic services for patients include evaluation of voice disorders, fiber-optic upper aerodigestive system examination, video laryngoscopy, sinus endoscopy, reconstructive and cosmetic facial surgery, screening for tumors of the head and neck, orthognathic reconstruction, electronystagmography, dynamic posturography, brainstem-evoked response testing, and clinical audiology.

Visiting professors and lecturers

A hallmark of higher education excellence is the breadth and depth of information and experience provided to you by faculty and visiting experts. Each year, many prominent professors visit Mayo Clinic to lecture in their areas of medical and scientific expertise.

As a student at Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, you are encouraged to learn from these valuable resources by attending all relevant conferences, lectures and seminars prepared for students, interns, residents, fellows, and consulting staff.


Mayo Clinic has two campuses in Arizona. The Phoenix campus includes the state-of-the-art Mayo Clinic Hospital, the first hospital entirely designed and built by Mayo Clinic. It has been recognized several times by Phoenix magazine as the Best Hospital in Phoenix.

The Mayo Clinic campus in Scottsdale is centered around a beautiful, five-story outpatient clinic. This modern facility contains extensive exam rooms, an outpatient surgery center equipped for general anesthesia, a full-service laboratory, pharmacy, patient education library, endoscopy suite, and a 188-seat auditorium for patient, staff, and student education programs. Services in numerous medical and surgical disciplines are provided, including outstanding programs in cancer treatment and organ transplantation.


Successful completion of all clinical rotations, program seminars, formal presentations, activities and the midterm examination, as well as preparation of an academic manuscript, is required for graduation.

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses evaluative tools that include:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

Graduation and certification

After successfully completing this fellowship, you receive a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.