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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education


"The official name for this specialty is Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. This specialty involves both the medical and surgical care of all structures related to the head and neck (basically, above the clavicles and excluding the brain and eye). … Although most physicians and patients still refer to these surgeons simply as ‘ENTs,’ this specialty is, in reality, so much more than ears, noses, and throats. Otolaryngologists are also experts in the management of head and neck tumors (e.g., thyroid and salivary gland), chronic pediatric infections (tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, and tympanostomy tube placement), facial trauma and cosmetic deformities, and diseases of the airway and phonation (laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, palate surgery for snoring and sleep apnea), and assessing and treating hearing loss in adults and children."

— Freeman, B. (2013). The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Medical Specialty. 3rd Ed. Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill: New York. p.340.

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M1 and M2 Students

  • What advice would you offer first- and second-year students who are interested in pursuing your specialty?

    Spend some time in our specialty, shadowing both in clinic and the operating room.  We have a very diverse specialty made up of many subspecialties - the more exposure you have, the better you are able to decide if this specialty is for you!  Otolaryngology is also a highly competitive residency program with importance placed on USMLE scores, clerkship evaluations and research.  Most applicants have a high score on USMLE Step 1 and have done well throughout medical school.

  • How important is a research experience in your specialty? If important, does it need to be in the specialty itself?

    Research experience, including presentations and publications, are looked upon very favorably and at this point would say usually expected. Otolaryngology research is ideal, but any research is good. Start as early as possible - a case report at the beginning of your fourth year of medical school is better than nothing, but a more substantial research project starting in your M1 or M2 year is much better and will give you a leg up! 

M3 and M4 Students

ENT Resources

Request an ENT Adviser

Contact our ENT Advising Coordinator:


Alan Micco, MD
ENT Career Advising Coordinator
View profile

For More Information

Department of Otolaryngology
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine
676 N. St. Clair St., Suite 1325
Chicago, IL 60611