The Rhinology Experience in Otolaryngology Residency: A Survey of Chief Residents

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The development of rhinology as a distinct subspecialty is based on recent advances in the research, clinical, and surgical aspects of the field. The impact of this evolution on the rhinologic experience in otolaryngology residency programs is not currently understood.


An anonymous, web-based survey of chief residents in otolaryngology residency programs was performed. Participants were asked to rate their residency experience in rhinology in terms of didactics, research opportunities, mentorship availability, clinical care, and surgical experience on an ordinal 5-point Likert scale with higher scores representing more favorable responses.


Forty-eight respondents completed the survey, yielding a response rate of 17.6%. The overall experience in rhinology was reported as positive (4.3 points). The individual items with statistically lower scores included availability of basic science research (P = .04), comfort level with the medical management of unusual rhinologic issues (P = .0006), and comfort level with advanced sinus procedures (P < .0001). However, overall ratings were high, and even the poorer-scoring items were still rated favorably. In programs with rhinology fellowships, basic science opportunities were reported as being higher (P = .04) than programs without fellowships. There were no other statistically significant differences in programs with rhinology fellowships. There was no correlation between responses and future career choice.


The overall residency training experience in rhinology appears to be positive, and presence of a rhinology fellowship appears not to have a negative impact on resident rhinologic training.

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