The primary objective of the Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery residency at the University of Colorado is to provide educational opportunities covering the breadth and depth of modern clinical otolaryngology. This allows our residents to pursue fellowship, if desired, and to become excellent board-certified clinicians.
The foundation of our residency education program consists of a diverse array of clinical learning opportunities, as well as a comprehensive didactic curriculum. Our educational emphasis is on problem-solving and self-directed study, rather than rote memorization. We actively encourage resident participation in the implementation of the educational program.
Clinical experiences are provided by more than thirty clinical faculty who comprehensively represent every subspecialty within otolaryngology. Fellowship trained faculty in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery, Laryngology, Otology and Neurotology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Rhinology, Sleep Medicine, and General Otolaryngology and Trauma are part of our program. We strive for an appropriate balance of autonomy and supervision, preparing residents for independent practice after graduation, while ensuring patient safety and quality care.
Research experiences include a four-month research rotation for our 5-Year Track residents, and a two-year basic science research experience for our 7-Year Track residents. Our research program offers a plethora of research opportunities with nationally recognized investigators. We strongly encourage residents to formulate their own hypotheses and develop future research interests. Formalized instruction in the scientific method, grant writing, and the publication process assist this development.
The didactic curriculum encompasses a cyclical core lecture series which covers all aspects of modern otolaryngology practice. The year is divided into seven subspecialty blocks: Otology/Audiology, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Pediatric Otolaryngology, General Otolaryngology including Trauma and Sleep, Head and Neck Surgery, Rhinology and Laryngology/Speech Pathology. Each block includes resident grand round presentations, core lectures by department and guest faculty, and a clinical skills lab. Other components include, but are not limited to, journal clubs, professional development and patient safety conferences. Per the ACGME core requirements, lectures cover embryology, anatomy, physiology, pathology and radiology. Clinical skills labs involve drilling of the temporal bone, anatomic dissection, and simulation activities. For additional educational opportunities, residents are encouraged to attend national, regional and local otolaryngology related meetings to present their research.
The program has a structured mentoring program for the residents at both the faculty and peer level. Incoming residents are assigned a faculty mentor in their first year, as well as a PGY2 or PGY3. Minimal twice a year meetings with the faculty mentor, are part of the department requirements for the semi-annual evaluations. These meetings are used to create structured educational and quality improvement goals for each individual as part of our formative evaluation process.