Message from the Program Director
The Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery program at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics offers a strong and balanced training opportunity for post-graduate residents. Our faculty have been nationally and internationally recognized for excellence in all sub-specialty areas, including laryngology, head & neck surgery, plastics, rhinology, neurotology, and pediatric otolaryngology. The faculty members all maintain busy clinical practices, but are also involved in diverse and innovative research programs, quality improvement projects, and educational initiatives.
According to US News & World Report, the University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics is ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in numerous specialties, including Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. These rankings are based on patient volume, utilization of advanced technologies, nursing intensity, and presence of a high level trauma center.
University Hospital, with 648 beds, is the main training site for residents. Otolaryngology residents will also spend a significant amount of time at the American Family Children’s Hospital and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, both located immediately adjacent to University Hospital. Additional training sites include Meriter Hospital and Transformations Plastic Surgery Center.
The UW Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery residency is a 5-year training program. The first year of training involves 6 months of otolaryngology rotations and 6 months of non-otolaryngology rotations. The non-otolaryngology rotations are designed for residents to learn the basic tenets of medical and surgical care of complex patients, as well as to expose our residents to closely allied surgical specialties with whom they will likely interact in the future. These non-otolaryngology rotations include two general surgery services (thoracic surgery and vascular surgery), plastic surgery, anesthesiology, critical care, and neurosurgery. The six months of otolaryngology for PGY-1 residents — which is weighted toward the second half of the academic year — is spent on the busy inpatient service at University Hospital, participating in outpatient clinics and rotating through audiology, speech/swallow services, allergy, and sleep medicine.
Second year residents spend most of their time on the otolaryngology service, with some time also spent at the VA Hospital. During the PGY-3 and PGY-4 years, residents are on otolaryngology rotations at the VA, Meriter Hospital, and University Hospital, with dedicated research blocks during this time as well. PGY-3 residents also have rotations in radiology and radiation oncology. The final year of training is spent as chief resident with rotations at University Hospital, the VA, and Transformations Plastic Surgery Center.
The clinical training environment for Otolaryngology residents is exceptional, and the operative experience here is robust both in terms of quantity and quality. Residents will acquire outstanding clinical and surgical skills that will serve them well whether they pursue private practice or sub-specialty fellowship training/academics. Over the last 5 years, two-thirds of our graduating residents have secured competitive fellowship positions, including matches in facial plastic surgery, rhinology/skull base surgery, head & neck surgery, pediatric otolaryngology, and craniofacial surgery. The rest have joined strong private groups, with practices encompassing the full range of general otolaryngology.
Academic and research opportunities are interwoven throughout residency, including research education seminars (bi-monthly), dedicated research blocks (3 months during PGY-3 year), and quarterly head and neck research update meetings. The research and education support system is excellent, and residents have access to temporal bone dissection and microsurgery labs, a laryngeal physiology facility, surgical skills labs, and an accredited simulation center. In addition, University Hospital is located on the edge of the larger University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, where there is opportunity to collaborate with myriad academic programs — from engineering to education — and participate in interdisciplinary basic and translational research.
Madison is a great place to live, and it consistently ranks highly among America’s best cities for families, health, schools, jobs, food, sports, and environmental quality. As the state capital and home of the University of Wisconsin’s main campus, Madison enjoys “big city” arts, entertainment, and culture, but without the “big city” traffic and crime. Situated on an isthmus between two large lakes, the natural beauty of the area serves as a wonderful backdrop for living, working, and playing in Madison.
Interested applicants can apply to our program through the Electronic Residency Application System. I encourage you to consider a rigorous and rewarding educational experience with us here at the University of Wisconsin Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery residency program.
Tony L. Kille, MD