The residency-training program in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery was established at Western University in 1962. Over the years, the program has gained a reputation for excellence in didactic and bedside teaching of residents in a broad spectrum of otolaryngology. Our residents routinely leave the program as highly competent surgeons and consultants in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and have distinguished themselves in academic and community practice in Canada and the United States.
The residency program as it currently exists is a five-year program. The first 14 months provide core surgery training and are spent off-service. The final 46 months comprise the training in Otolaryngology and are spent on-service except for 3 months of elective time spread over the PGY 2 to 4 years. To date, we have accepted up to three Ontario Ministry of Health funded residents each year and often have one or possibly two non-MOH funded residents in the program at any given time. As a result, there are typically twelve to fifteen residents doing their otolaryngology rotations in London at any given time. It is felt that this is an appropriate number of residents to maximize their clinical exposure without the service load becoming inappropriately heavy. Clinical training takes place at all London teaching hospitals including Victoria and University Campuses of the London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Centre.
Current faculty consists of 13 full-time Otolaryngologists, 12 of whom are hospital based. Three part-time Otolaryngologists and 12 cross-appointees from other departments and faculties also provide teaching. The sub-specialty interests of the faculty include otology, neuro-otology, pediatric otolaryngology, head and neck oncology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, facial cosmetic surgery, and rhinology. Cross-appointees to the Department have expertise in head and neck radiation oncology, oral surgery and maxillofacial trauma, vestibular medicine and communicative disorders. We thus have all of the subspecialty areas of Otolaryngology covered by dedicated subspecialists.
The academic teaching program of the Department has evolved over many years and is regularly reviewed. The backbone of the academic program for Otolaryngology residents at Western is the protected teaching seminar program held each Friday afternoon during the academic year. Weekly grand rounds supplement this backbone and a Journal Club held one evening per month. All residents in the PGY-2 to PGY-4 years are expected to attend these sessions and the PGY-1 residents are encouraged to attend them whenever possible.
Practical training in audiology, vestibular testing and temporal bone dissection are held on selected Friday afternoons throughout the academic year. Clinical teaching takes place on the wards, in the ambulatory clinics and in the operating rooms on a daily basis. Written and oral examinations take place each of the last 4 years and are used primarily to ensure that progress is being made at an appropriate rate and serve to provide feedback to the resident.
Resident research is a strong component of the Otolaryngology training program. Residents are required to complete a project each of the 4 on-service years. The residents present the research projects at Residents' Day held each spring and awards are given. In place of teaching sessions, selected Friday afternoons are left free for completion of research projects as well as most summer Fridays. Over the years, our residents have performed well at national and international meetings and in the last five years they have won awards in competition with residents from across Canada and North America.
In summary, the Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery residency program at Western University is well established and well regarded. The prime focus of the Department is our residency-training program. The program is large enough to provide a broad range of clinical exposure to the resident, and yet small enough to allow all the residents and staff to be well acquainted with each other in a personable environment. We feel the training program's greatest strength is its ability to provide solid theoretical and practical training in general and sub-specialty otolaryngology, and serves as an excellent platform for private practice or as a springboard to pursue further sub-specialty training. The program has also acquitted itself well in the area of resident research.
Please feel free to contact the Program Director with any questions or requests.