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Educational curriculum

The Rush otolaryngology program’s didactics are designed to produce graduates who are well-rounded and well-prepared to pass the certification exams and continue into independent practice or subspecialty training. The didactic curriculum consists of core otolaryngology topics, board review, multidisciplinary conferences, bedside teaching rounds, and a state-of-the-art Simulation training experience. The core otolaryngology topics are a two-year curriculum organized by subspecialty. Each of these subspecialties is the focus for one to four months of didactics over two years: otology, rhinology, pediatric otolaryngology, sleep, allergy, general otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and laryngology. The curriculum features a structured reading list with selections appropriate for junior and senior residents, respectively.

The intern reading list is tailored to prepare PG1s for the academic expectations of residents in the otolaryngology program. Their reading focuses on basic science, patient safety and fundamentals of otolaryngology.

The first Friday of every month is a dedicated resident teaching day, which focuses on a subspecialty and is led by a faculty member with expertise in that subject area. These teaching days are protected academic time. Residents are excused from clinical responsibilities for the full day, and faculty are excused for the morning. The day begins with the monthly morbidity and mortality conference led by the chief resident, followed by grand rounds, a faculty or resident lecture, and journal club. The afternoons feature interactive teaching sessions led by core faculty.

On Wednesday mornings, residents have protected didactic time, which will include the following activities:

  • Multidisciplinary Conferences
    • Sleep Surgery
    • Skull Base
    • Reconstructive
    • Radiology
  • Resident monthly meeting with the Program Director
  • Faculty Development Conferences
  • Resident led teaching sessions

This robust didactic program is complemented by a number of proctored, lab-based educational sessions, including the following:

  • Monthly temporal bone lab (September – May)
  • Annual summer anatomy lab series (July – August) including
    • Facial plastics
    • Neck dissection
    • Oral cavity, oropharynx, salivary glands and thyroid
    • Laryngectomy and tracheostomy
    • Maxillectomy, orbit, infratemporal fossa and open skull base
    • Regional flaps and free flaps
  • Maxillofacial trauma plating course 
  • Microvascular surgical skills lab
  • Sinus and skull base endoscopic lab
  • Sleep procedures workshop

Thursday mornings include a weekly tumor board attended by the head and neck and FPRS service team members.