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 two-month rotation in Otolaryngology.
During the five years of otolaryngology training, each resident enjoys two research rotations to explore those aspects of research that are of interest to them.
The clinical training program includes five years of concentrated clinical study and application in all aspects of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery. The PGY- 2 resident begins their training with a 6-week intensive Basic Science course. This is divided into an anatomy component that includes a supervised cadaver dissection and the lecture series presenting the resident with over 150 lecture hours; comprehensively detailing the study of otolaryngology and all its interrelated disciplines.
The combined seven-year clinical research program is designed for an enhanced residency experience with a focus on a career in academics. After an internship year, the resident pursues two years of research, followed by four years of clinical training. The program’s strength lies in its flexibility. Residents have a research experience tailored to their interests. Although many applicants have prior research experience, it is not a requirement. All levels of training are supported - from an advisory role for residents with previous Ph.D. experience, to a mentorship for those beginning research careers. Research residents are free to pursue their own research interests with mentors from the Department of Otolaryngology or any other department at the University of Iowa. Research opportunities at the University of Iowa are vast. The University boasts four Howard Hughes investigators, numerous members of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and ranks 30th nationally in funding from the NIH. The Department of Otolaryngology provides salary support, funding for travel to conferences and meetings, and an allowance for lab supplies. Many residents have successfully secured outside funding for their projects. The Department also evaluates, on a case-by-case basis, continued financial support for the research residents’ projects after they have completed their two years of research. This initiative has allowed many research residents to secure NIH funding soon after completion of their residency.
The Residency Program – The Team Approach
The leadership of the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery is committed to improving the professional and personal experiences of residents in the program. The team approach was created and implemented not only to expand on the learning capacity for Iowa residents but 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 OR time earlier in their training.
The Department recognizes the importance of a healthy work/life balance. Residents enjoy more time to study and more free time as a result of the team approach. Weekly working hours are capped and limited to ensure the well-being of our residents. Furthermore all of our residents enjoy free house staff benefits.