About the Program

The Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is one of the oldest departments in the United States and one of the most comprehensive in the world.

Our institute is among the largest of its kind and is a, world-class facility housing 28 exam rooms, a surgery center, and separate reception areas for different groups of patients. Clinical research centers include: a Balance Disorders Center, a Cochlear Implant Center, and a Voice and Swallowing Center.

Annually we receive $5 million in grants from the NIH to pursue our research goals. We have two highly competitive ACGME accredited fellowships in otology/neurotology and pediatric otolaryngology and a world-class head and neck microvascular fellowship.

U.S. News has consistently rated the department among the top otolaryngology programs in the United States since 1990. Best Doctors®, an online database of peer evaluated physicians, has consistently included members of our faculty.

First Magnet Hospital in Iowa

Inaugurated in February 2000, the Department of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery is located on the second floor of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Covering an area of 40,000 square feet, the facility offers 29 exam rooms spread over four clinical specialty areas: Otology/Neurotology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, General Otolaryngology/Rhinology and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Exam rooms for each of the specialty areas are specifically equipped for the needs of that specialty.

Otology/Neurotology rooms all have ceiling mounted microscopes, while Pediatric rooms are softened by the inclusion of activities and games for children. The new Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery clinic is designed as a "clinic with a clinic" in order to streamline the patient experience and to offer a more private waiting room area. Each exam room is equipped with an endoscopic imaging system with monitors for patient viewing.

For minor procedures patients have immediate access to our surgery center fitted with state of the art equipment. The surgery center provides the department with the flexibility it needs to perform smaller procedures and biopsies without having to arrange time in the Main Operating Room suite.

We have an additional 35,000 square feet of dedicated research space that support the research goals of our investigators–this includes the Center for Auditory Regeneration occupying the fifth-floor of the Carver Biomedical Research Building. Directed by Bruce Gantz, MD and Richard Smith, MD, the center offers a unique environment for multi-disciplinary research into new treatments for permanent inner ear diseases and disorders that cause hearing loss and deafness. This work complements UI expertise and innovation in cochlear implants, including brain stem implants and short electrodes for high frequency hearing loss.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Iowa Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency program is to provide comprehensive training in the field of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery to generate physicians who are dedicated to delivering outstanding and compassionate patient care. We are committed to creating new knowledge and innovations that will improve our delivery of excellent, patient-centered care. Our program provides a stimulating environment that creates life-long learners who possess the tools needed for critical analysis and scholarly appraisal of the medical literature. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) primarily serve the state of Iowa and the surrounding areas, and are the primary site and sponsoring institution of this program. The Otolaryngology residency program and UIHC share the common mission of providing superior patient care while educating the next generation of exceptional physicians.

Chair Welcome

Marlan Hansen, portraitI would like to thank you for your interest in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Founded in 1922, the UI Department of Otolaryngology is among the oldest in the United States and one of the most comprehensive in the world. It is situated in one of the largest university- owned teaching hospitals in the country.

U.S. News & World Report has rated this department among the top otolaryngology programs in the United States for over 25 years. Our faculty bring tremendous skill to a state-of- the-art clinical facility, allowing for the comprehensive management of the most complex patients.
 
Each year we admit five trainees to our residency program. Three will enter the clinical track, while the remaining two will spend two years in research before beginning their second year of otolaryngology residency. 

We have two highly competitive ACGME accredited fellowships in Otology/Neurotology and Pediatric Otolaryngology as well as a world-class Head and Neck Microvascular fellowship. The Department prides itself in both excellent training of medical professionals and superlative patient care. Our commitment is to produce better practitioners of otolaryngology and increase the number of teacher- investigators in the field.

I am glad that you are considering the University of Iowa for your residency training.

Sincerely,

Marlan Hansen, MD

Program Director Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Otolaryngology– Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Thank you for your interest in considering our program for your residency training.

Kristi E. Chang, MD

Theresidency program at the University of Iowa follows a structured, progressive curriculum that focuses on consistency and continuity in patient care. Rotations are organized based on a team system, with residents rotating through each specialty area throughout the course of a year. This structure provides residents with the opportunity to follow the same patient from the initial clinical consultation, to surgery, and through the postoperative period.

During your R1 year at Iowa, you will spend six months in Otolaryngology, a valuable rotation that allows you to integrate into the Department. The remaining six months include one month each in 

Emergency Medicine, Critical Care, Anesthesia, Neurosurgery, and Oral-MaxillofacialSurgery and rotations on some of the following services: Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Plastic Surgery, and Surgical Oncology.

The educational program includes weekly conferences like the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Clinical Conference, Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Tumor Board, Melanoma Tumor Board, Endocrine Conference and Grand Rounds. There are also conferences every Monday morning that are directed by the faculty and senior residents on a rotating basis. Monthly meetings include the Multidisciplinary Airway Conference, Pediatric Otolaryngology Conference, Otology Rounds, and Morbidity and Mortality Conference.
The Temporal Bone course is a year-long course that consists of anatomic dissection labs as well as didactic tutorials.

The Resident-Program Director Meeting is also held monthly. This an important venue as it provides our residents with an opportunity to be proactive in ensuring that our program maintains its posit

ion as one of the premier training opportunities in the United States.

Our goals as a faculty are to facilitate your development as an otolaryngologist who is accomplished in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the head and neck; to foster a sense of critical thinking and excellent judgment; and to help you hone your skills as an investigator and a scholar.

Again, I am very pleased you have taken this opportunity to visit our institution, and I hope that you enjoy your stay in Iowa City.

Sincerely,

Kristi E Chang, MD Associate Professor Residency Program Director

Why Iowa?

I loved the emphasis on academics and research, and the faculty and residents were the best I had met -- it was an easy choice!

Marisa Buchakjian, PhD, MD; Class of 2018 and current faculty member

What stood out to me was the tight knit group and camaraderie amongst the residents and how approachable and committed the faculty were to training.

Amanda Ngouajio, MD; Class of 2023

The aims of the University of Iowa Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency program are to:

The aims of the University of Iowa Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency program are to:

  • Train future physicians to be lifelong learners, committed to self-reflection, self-assessment and improvement
  • Deliver a core curriculum that allows residents to gain knowledge encompassing the entire breadth of the field of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Generate understanding in the art of inquiry and science of discovery to improve patient care and expand our specialty
  • Develop clinical reasoning and judgment skills necessary to approach complex as well as common problems that present to Otolaryngologists
  • Develop the necessary skills and knowledge used in the areas of teaching, quality and safety, and scholarship
  • Provide clinical experiences allowing residents to learn and practice delivering team-based care that reflects respect for patient values and preferences
  • Provide opportunities and flexibility supporting individualized career plans
  • Foster a learning environment that promotes progressive responsibility and graduated autonomy
  • Maintain a supportive culture which prioritizes residents’ wellness and enhances camaraderie and mentorship

World-class faculty, friendly residents, incredible research opportunities.

Eliot Shearer, PhD, MD; Class of 2019

We have a very strong academic program here, but then we also have multiple private practice rotations.

Ryan Smith, MD; PGY-4; Class of 2022

Excellent training reputation with outstanding and approachable attendees in all subspecialties, research in hearing loss genetics, cleft clinic run by ENT, sense of camaraderie among residents and faculty, night float system.

Richard Tilton, MD; Class of 2020

Great people, established program, fun things to do.

McKay Moline, MD; Class of 2020

Facilities

The Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is one of the oldest departments in the United States and one of the most comprehensive in the world.

Our institute is among the largest of its kind and is a, world-class facility housing 28 exam rooms, a surgicenter, and separate reception areas for different groups of patients. Clinical research centers include: a Balance Disorders Center, a Cochlear Implant Center, and a Voice and Swallowing Center.
 
Annually we receive $5 million in grants from the NIH to pursue our research goals. We have two highly competitive ACGME accredited fellowships in otology/neurotology and pediatric otolaryngology and a world-class head and neck microvascular fellowship.

UI Facial Surgery clinic
The Facial Plastic Surgery clinic provides patients with a more private environment.

U.S. News has consistently rated the department among the top otolaryngology programs in the United States since 1990. “Best Doctors”, an online database of peer evaluated physicians, has consistently included members of our faculty in its database.

First Magnet Hospital in Iowa

Inaugurated in February 2000, the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery is located on the second floor of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Covering an area of  40,000 square feet, the facility offers 29 exam rooms spread over four clinical specialty areas: Otology/Neurotology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, General Otolaryngology/Rhinology and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Exam rooms for each of the specialty areas are specifically equipped for the needs of that specialty.

Otology/Neurotology rooms all have ceiling mounted microscopes, while Pediatric rooms are softened by the inclusion of activities and games for children. The new Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery clinic is designed as a “clinic with a clinic” in order to streamline the patient experience and to offer a more private waiting room area.

For minor procedures patients have immediate access to our surgicenter fitted with state of the art equipment. The surgicenter provides the department with the flexibility it needs to perform smaller procedures and biopsies without having to arrange time in the Main Operating Room suite.

We have an additional 35,000 square feet of dedicated research space that support the research goals of our investigators–this includes the Center for Auditory Regeneration occupying the fifth-floor of the Carver Biomedical Research Building. Directed by Bruce Gantz, MD and Richard Smith, MD, the center offers a unique environment for multidiscplinary research into new treatments for permanent inner ear diseases and disorders that cause hearing loss and deafness. This work complements UI expertise and innovation in cochlear implants, including brain stem implants and short electrodes for high frequency hearing loss.

Residency Program Overview

Two Oto residentsResidency Program

Each year five applicants are chosen to begin their residency here. Three residents are matched to the clinical track (five years) and two residents are matched to the research track (seven years). All residents are required to complete their general surgery internship year at UI Hospitals and Clinics. During the internship year, each resident’s schedule will include a six-month rotation in Otolaryngology.

Resident Research

During the four years of otolaryngology training, each resident enjoys up to two research rotations to explore those aspects of research that are of interest to them.

Clinical Track

The clinical track program includes four years of concentrated clinical study in all aspects of otolaryngology. Residents rotate through the Head and Neck, Otology/Neurotology and Pediatric Services within the clinic during their second and third years. As their skills progress, residents assume responsibility for the services at UIHC and at allied training facilities within Iowa.

Research Track

The research track is designed for the applicant interested in a research career in otolaryngology. After internship, the resident completes two years of research training followed by 4 years of clinical training. The interaction of clinicians and basic scientists from several departments affords the resident the opportunity to be involved in a wide spectrum of research.

This varies from electrophysiology of the auditory system to the genetics of head and neck cancer and gene therapy.

Training Conferences

Basic Science course in Otolaryngology

The PGY-2 resident begins their training with a 6 week intensive Basic Science course. This is divided into an anatomy component allowing the resident to meticulously dissect all structures of the head and neck under staff supervision.

During the remaining five-week lecture series, residents are presented over 120 hours of topics detailing the study of Otolaryngology and all its interrelated disciplines.

Head and Neck Course

Every May or June the “Head and Neck” series of courses is hosted by the Department of Otolaryngology drawing international participants as well speakers regarded as leaders in their specialties. Residents participate in the Head and Neck Course during their third and fifth years.

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Course

This is a two-day course designed to provide information and laboratory experience regarding advanced techniques and approaches in endoscopic sinus surgery. The participants will receive hands-on experience using endoscopic instruments and power instrumentation to perform FESS on fresh cadaver specimens. Fourth year residents attend this course.

The department also hosts an annual Management of the Tinnitus Patient course.

A Team Approach

The team approach was created and implemented not only to expand on the learning capacity for residents, but also to generate more personal time and flexibility. It allows residents to take charge of their patients as part of a continuous care process and ultimately results in more surgical experience earlier in their training.

The Department recognizes the importance of a healthy work/life balance. Residents enjoy more time to study and/or free time as a result of the team approach. Weekly working hours are capped and limited to ensure the well–being of our residents.

House Staff Benefits

Medical Care

As a service to residents, the UIHC provides comprehensive medical, dental and hospital care for house staff physicians, dentists and their dependents.

Counseling services

The UIHC recognizes that graduate medical and dental education places increasing responsibility on house staff members and requires sustained intellectual and physical effort. It is further recognized that for some these demands will at times cause emotional or physical stress. In all such instances, house staff physicians, dentists and members of their immediate families are encouraged to seek help. In that regard, a list of contacts and resources is provided.

Residency Programs Rotations

Resident Year 1

University of Iowa General Surgery – 12 months:

  • Six month rotation, Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.
  • Remaining six months include one month each in Emergency Medicine, Critical Care, Anesthesia, Neurosurgery, and Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery and rotations on some of the following services: Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Plastic Surgery, and Surgical Oncology.

Call: Determined by individual services.

Surgical experience: Assist with major head and neck cases and primary surgeon on minor cases.

Resident Year 2*

University of Iowa – 52 weeks:

  • Basic Science Course – 6 weeks
  • Head and Neck service – 9 weeks
  • Pediatrics/Plastic Surgery/General service – 18 weeks
  • Otology/Rhinology/General service – 18 weeks

Night Float: Two rotations of 3 weeks.

Surgical experience: Primary surgeon on myringotomy and tubes, tonsillectomies, minor head and neck cases, minor plastics cases. Assist on major head and neck, otology, pediatric cases, facial plastics and endoscopic sinus surgery.

*Residents in the clinical-research combined program do two years of research between R1 and R2 Otolaryngology.

Resident Year 3

University of Iowa – 32 weeks:

  • Head and Neck service – 12 weeks
  • Pediatrics/Plastic Surgery/General service – 10 weeks
  • Research Elective – 10 weeks
  • Veterans Administration Medical Center – 10 weeks. Mason City Clinic ENT in Mason City – 10 weeks.

Call: Night float 3 weeks x 1. Home call when at the VA or in Mason City.

Surgical experience: Competency of minor surgeries and increasing autonomy on major head and neck or otology cases. Primary surgeon on adult and pediatric airway cases and some sinus surgeries.

Resident Year 4

University of Iowa – 52 weeks:

  • Head and Neck service – 10 weeks
  • Pediatrics/Plastic Surgery/General service – 10 weeks
  • Otology/Rhinology – 10 week
  • Multi-Disciplinary Float – 10-12 weeks
  • Research – 10-12 weeks

Call: 1:6 at home while on University rotations shared with PGY-5.

Surgical experience: Primary surgeon on major head and neck, plastics, sinus and pediatric cases.

Resident Year 5

University of Iowa – 40-42 weeks:

  • Head and Neck – 10 weeks
  • Pediatrics/Plastic Surgery/General – 20 weeks
  • Otology/Rhinology – 10 weeks
  • Veterans Administration in Iowa City – 10 weeks

Call: 1:8 at home while on University rotations shared with R-4s. Back-up call at the VA Hospital.

Surgical experience: Primary surgeon or resident instructor on major cases.

Conferences, Lectures, and Rounds

Weekly

Monday:

7 a.m. —Resident Didactic Sessions

Tuesday:

7 a.m. —Grand Rounds (M&M’s 1st Tuesday of the month)

5 p.m. —Temporal Bone course

6:30 p.m. —Peds Journal Club, every other week

Wednesday:

5:30 p.m. —Ear rounds – Dr. Gantz first Wednesday of the month

Thursday:

Every other week Melanoma rounds

Friday:

6:30 a.m. —Head and Neck Oncology Tumor Board

Annually

  • March: In-service exam
  • May: Head & Neck Cancer Course; Endoscopic Sinus Course 
  • June: Management of Tinnitus Patient Course
  • June: Clinical Conference/Resident Research Day
  • July/August: Basic Science Course
  • October: Fall Clinical Conference 
  • Various Dates: Visiting Professor Series

Each resident is entitled to 3 weeks per year

Life in Iowa City

Kinnick Stadium

Iowa City is a vibrant town that offers far more than its population-size would suggest. Home to the University of Iowa and a medical center that is over 3,000,000 square-feet, Iowa City draws people from all over the world, providing a diverse and rich cultural experience.

The world-renowned Iowa Writer’s Workshop is only one example of Iowa City’s commitment to the arts. The Englert Theater hosts the Landlocked Film Festival and numerous other live concerts and performances throughout the year. In the summer, Iowa City sponsors several events as part of its Summer of the Arts program. These include the Iowa City Jazz Festival, the free Friday night concert series and outdoor summer movies.

…a city that provides for 3 million people that has 60,000 people.

Harry Hoffman, MD

Whether watching the Hawkeyes in Kinnick Staduim or bicycling across the state as part of RAGBRAI, the world’s largest organized bicycle ride, athletics are an important part of the Iowa City experience. Just a few miles north of the pedestrian mall, Coralville Lake and Marina offers boating, fishing, and swimming activities for the whole family.

Opportunities for shopping also abound. Coral Ridge mall offers year-round ice skating, a Children’s Museum, 120 stores and a 10-screen movie theater.

Families with children are happy to discover the area’s emphasis on education. Whether it is the excellent public and private schools or the fact that Iowa City has highest percentage of adults holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher than anywhere in the country, Iowa’s commitment to education is readily apparent.

Iowa City is a UNESCO City of Literature, earning that distinction in November 2008 and becoming only the 3rd city to do so. USNews & World Report ranks The University of Iowa #33 for best universities among public, private and for profit institutions for 2017.

Life in Iowa City has all the cultural benefits of a larger metropolitan area without the congestion. With an affordable cost of living and short commute times, Iowa City offers an easy lifestyle.

History

Oto group photo

The department of Otolaryngology had its inception at the State University of Iowa in 1871, when a lectureship was established in ophthalmology and otology. Dr. E. F. Hagen was the first to occupy the lectureship position. He was followed by Dr. C. M. Hobby, who held the position from 1875 to 1879. A lectureship in dental surgery was given by Dr. I. P. Wilson of Burlington.

Dr. James W. Dalby succeeded Dr. Hobby in 1879, and in 1893 ophthalmology and otology were given full professorships with the appointment of Dr. Dalby as head of ophthalmology and Dr. Charles Robertson as head of otology. In 1898, the first University Hospital was opened for patients in the building now designated as East Hall. By 1900, the four medical courses were extended from 16 weeks to nine months, and the medical department assumed a truly academic status and became the College of Medicine.

When Dr. Dalby resigned in 1903 as professor of ophthalmology, Dr. Lee Wallace Dean was appointed his successor. Dr. Dean had received his BS Degree at the University of Iowa in 1894. and his MS and MD degrees in 1896. He was a demonstrator of pathology and bacteriology from 1894 to 1896, and in anatomy from 1896 to 1898.

He served as acting professor of physiology from 1898 to 1899, and professor of physiology from 1899 to 1901. For the next three years he was professor of otology and rhinology and assistant in ophthalmology. In 1903 he became professor and head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Otology.

Ultimately, Dr. Dean assumed additional responsibilities as Dean of the College of Medicine, a position he held until his resignation in 1927. In approximately 1920, Dr. Dean established a dental surgical service within the Department of Otolaryngology, and designated Ralph Fenton, DDS, to serve as professor.

In 1925, ophthalmology became a separate department, with Dr. Dean continuing as head of the Department of Otolaryngology and dean of the College of Medicine.

Following his resignation, he became professor and head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University, St. Louis, MO., until his retirement in 1941. He died in 1944.

After the resignation of Dr. Dean in 1927, Dr. D.M. Lierle became acting head of the Department of Otolaryngology and Oral Surgery. In 1928 he was named professor and head of the department. It was in this year that the present University Hospitals were dedicated. In 1952 the Department of Oral Surgery became autonomous, and the Department of Otolaryngology became known as the Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery. In 1959 the Board of Regents approved the title of Hospital Dental Department of the hospital dental service.

When Dr. Lierle retired as head of Otolaryngology in 1964, he was succeeded by Dr. Brian F. McCabe. Under Dr. McCabe’s leadership, academic excellence became the department’s goal. Multiple divisions were established that reflect the primary subspecialty services provided in the department: otology and neurotology, head and neck oncology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, pediatric otolaryngology, speech pathology and audiology, and craniofacial surgery.

Long-term research projects in cleft lip and palate and cochlear implants were initiated during Dr. McCabe’s tenure. In 1980 name of the department was officially changed to the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

Auditory Electrophysiology Lab

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