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Clinical Training

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Residents in the lab at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

PGY-1 intern year

During six months of ENT rotations, interns will work alongside our chiefs, take call, get rotation experience in our audiology, allergy, sleep, medical oncology, and neuroradiology divisions, and participate in the Anatomy Lab Series. The interns’ other six months are spent with colleagues in critical care, emergency medicine, oromaxillofacial surgery, anesthesiology, endocrine surgery, and neurosurgery.

PGY1/PGY2 Anatomy Lab Series

  • Parotid
  • Facial nerve
  • Facial muscles
Head and neck Anatomy lab
  • Nose
  • Pericranium
  • Local flaps
Plastics Anatomy lab
  • Endoscopic sinus
  • Orbit
  • Anterior skull base
Rhinology Anatomy lab
  • Neck dissection
  • Thyroid
Head and neck Anatomy lab
  • Larynx
  • Esophagus
  • Trachea
  • Oral cavity
Laryngology Anatomy lab
  • Optional: Parapharyngeal space/ infratemporal fossa, open maxillectomy, eyelid surgery, further endoscopic skull base dissection, temporal bone practice

Anatomy lab


Temporal bone

  • Complete intact canal wall mastoidectomy with facial recess approach
  • Canal wall mastoidectomy
  • Labyrinthectomy
  • Stapedotomy/stapedectomy
  • Cochleostomy for cochlear implantation
  • Endolymphatic sac decompression


Entire procedures to be performed under the guidance of attending physician

Tuesday evenings as scheduled

Temporal bone lab

 Minimum attendance:

Three dissection labs until competence in all procedures is achieved

Must complete by end of PGY-2 year


PGY-1/PGY-2 readings

PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents complete specified readings and summaries preceding the start of their research projects, including readings in:

  • Facial plastic surgery
  • General ENT
  • Sleep medicine
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Laryngology
  • Otology
  • Audiology
  • Pediatric otolaryngology
  • Rhinology
  • Trauma

PGY-2 junior year

Community practice setting

PGY-2s will accompany various faculty to Austin or Albert Lea, Minnesota. The minimum requirement is four times in the first half of the year.

Silver Quality Essentials

In preparation for their class quality improvement project (below), PGY-2s will complete the full-day seminar, Silver Quality Essentials. Objectives include:

  • Articulate the case for patient-centered quality improvement in health care
  • Identify, measure, and prioritize opportunities for improvement
  • Select and apply appropriate quality improvement methods and tools
  • Describe how to sustain long-term improvement
  • Prepare for the Silver Quality Essentials assessment and for meaningful participation in a class Quality Improvement Project  

PGY-3 and PGY-4 senior years

Microsurgery course

Course goals:

  • Microscope basics
  • Initial training on practice boards and 1 mm biogel tubes
  • End-to-end artery and venous repair
  • End-to-sides
  • Interposition of vein grafts, nerve coaptations, etc.

Quality improvement project 

Residents will work as a class to identify, analyze, determine, and implement a solution to a clinical problem or inefficiency, working as a team in conjunction with ENT’s Quality Improvement Committee and with a goal toward publication and/or presentation. A class representative will present yearly at the committee.

Research project

Residents will complete a minimum of one research project during their residency with a requirement of manuscript submission and a goal toward publication and presentation at regional/national/international conferences. Each resident will present to the research committee yearly.

Community practice setting

PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents may accompany their attending physician to Austin or Albert Lea, MN, with program and faculty approval.


Rotations are designed for progressive training with graduated responsibility based on the residents’ progress. Rotations are in the quintile format (10-11 weeks long).

Facial plastics/sleep medicine Head and neck Facial plastics
Rhinology Head and neck Otology
Pediatrics Otology Laryngology
Laryngology Rhinology Rhinology
Head and neck Pediatrics Head and neck

PGY-5 chief year

PGY-5 residents are promoted to instructor in otolaryngology and maintain a dedicated personal clinic and operative schedule providing continuity of care for patients. In addition, in order to improve parity and comfort with upper level cases, chiefs will spend:

  • One quintile as mentored resident on an otology/neurotology service
  • One quintile as mentored resident on a rhinology/skull base service
  • One month at Hennepin County Medical Center for management of maxillofacial trauma in an urban setting