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ENT residents work with faculty physicians in the operating room

The Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Residency at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, includes one year of a combined general surgical/otolaryngologic intern year, where our residents complete six months of ENT-specific rotations and six months of off-service rotations in specialties and units that are applicable to ENT. Our three ENT intern rotations include 10 weeks of ENT consult service, 10 weeks of pediatric ENT, and seven weeks of head and neck oncologic surgery. Our five off-service rotations during the intern year include the surgical ICU, emergency department, endocrine surgery, oral maxillofacial surgery, and neurosurgery.

The remaining four years of residency will consist of multiple rotations in each of our subspecialty divisions: Laryngology, Head and Neck Oncology, Rhinology & Anterior Skull Base, Neurotology and Lateral Skull Base, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Facial Plastics and Reconstruction, and Sleep Surgery. Learn more about clinical rotations.

During PGY-3, residents have one month of elective time with many opportunities, including:

  • Global health rotation 
  • Various community health rotations, including Mayo Clinic Health System and Community Health Services, Inc
  • Rotations to Mayo Clinic in Florida or Mayo Clinic in Arizona
  • Various private practice rotations, including general ENT, FPRS, rhinology, and head and neck surgery
  • Various urban practice rotations, including Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota Minneapolis
  • Bench research
  • The freedom and resources to self-design an elective 

As PGY-5s, our residents become Chief Resident associate faculty and learn to function in the clinic and operating room as self-sufficient providers as a way to prepare them for life after residency. They also lead our consult team made up of our supervising attending physician, consult intern, and PGY-2’s on call. 

In addition, our Clinician Investigator Training Program gives residents the option of obtaining a master's degree in biomedical science through a year of fully funded research experience.

Teaching opportunities

Residents are encouraged to participate in the otolaryngology core lectures and small groups with first- and second-year students in Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. In addition, the residents participate in educating first-year students who participate in the formal ENT Selective program, teaching in skills labs (suturing, scoping, physical exams).

Teaching opportunities continue through residency with regular didactic presentations during Grand Rounds and Core Curriculum. Chief residents work closely with junior residents and serve as their mentors and educators during call, hospital consults, and in the OR.

Leadership opportunities

Residents are recruited to participate in the departmental education committee, the quality committee, and the clinical practice committee. There is a Mayo Clinic Enterprise Leadership Course available to 1-2 trainees per year with an interest in future hospital leadership roles. Additionally, residents may be nominated for positions on the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery committees if they have specific interest.

Global health opportunities

The program sees value in global health efforts and therefore supports one trip per residency for interested trainees. There are two options:

  1. Participate in the Global Health Track and take a trip for two-four weeks during the PGY-3 elective block. This also includes working with the host institution on research and development of training programs at the international site. Rotation sites for the elective block currently include Zimbabwe, with more sites becoming available soon. 
  2. Take a one-two week Global Health trip sometime during PGY3-5, outside of elective time.

Residents participating in the Global Health Track will explore various aspects of academic global surgery through self-directed modules, dive into layering concepts through discussion and thought groups, and ultimately have the opportunity to apply learned concepts abroad while partnering with an institution in a Low or Middle Income Country (LMIC). The global surgery track’s abroad rotation is approved by The American Board of Otolaryngology and has become the first rotation of its kind in the United States to be included as part of an accredited residency training program for interested residents. This track is focused on training residents how to participate in sustainable, academic global surgery.

Scholarly activities

Residents are encouraged to present their clinical and basic science work at national meetings and to publish their work in prominent otolaryngology journals. They receive reimbursement for expenses incurred for presentations and attendance at meetings. Please see our Research Opportunities page for more information.

Call frequencyJunior call room for the Otolaryngology residency

Interns take primary call every Friday night while on their 10-week ENT consult rotation. PGY-2’s take the remainder of the primary in-house call, averaging every fifth night over a four-week period. We have an ENT-specific call room available for the overnight in-house resident. We cover St. Mary’s Hospital and Methodist Hospital, which are one mile apart and transportation is available via the shuttle or Mayo security private car escort. All junior residents taking overnight call get a post-call day the following day where they are relieved of their patient care duties and allowed to get much-deserved rest. 

PGY-3’s and PGY-4’s alternate taking home call for one week at a time, such that each senior resident is on call approximately every tenth week. Their responsibilities include fielding patient phone calls on weekends/holidays and weekday evenings, and rounding on inpatients on the weekends/holidays.

PGY-5’s take home-call for one week at a time, once every four-five weeks as they oversee the junior resident in-house call team. 


Moonlighting is permitted for residents in years PGY-2 through PGY-5 with approval from the program director. Moonlighting must be scheduled so as not to overly fatigue residents or interfere with their educational responsibilities.


To ensure that trainees acquire adequate knowledge and develop their technical skills, performance is monitored carefully during the Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Residency. Residents are evaluated formally by their supervising faculty members after each clinical rotation and their competency in the six essential core competencies is assessed.

In addition, residents regularly evaluate the faculty to ensure that their educational needs are being met. We incorporate 360-degree reviews to receive evaluations from staff and medical personnel in the clinic and operating rooms. Residents are required to take the Otolaryngology Training Examination offered by the American Board of Otolaryngology during the PGY-1 through PGY-5 years of residency. Scores are monitored to identify deficiencies and proficiencies.


Take a virtual tour: Otolaryngology (ENT) spaces

Click on the picture or tile to view the virtual space and learn more about the rooms, surgical spaces, and labs you may encounter as an ENT resident.

Navigation tools: Use your mouse to click on the circles on the floor to move through the virtual tour. To advance directly into a specific room, click on the dollhouse icon (lower left corner). You may also use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

Trainee workroom in the Gonda building at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Workroom 12-200, Gonda building

Hallway A, 12th floor, Gonda building

Center for Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery

Center for Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery, Gonda building

Workroom 6T-89, Francis building

Workstations to practice procedures and enhance skills with video capabilities to track progress, located at the Center for Procedural Skills Mastery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Procedural Skills Mastery Lab, Mary Brigh building

OR 1-703, Mary Brigh building

Trainee in the Skull Base/T-Bone Lab

Skull Base/T-Bone Lab, Stabile building

Microvascular Lab, Stabile building

Students in the Anatomy Lab at Mayo Clinic

Anatomy Lab, Stabile building