The Department of Otolaryngology at OHSU proudly offers fellowship training in Laryngology. This is a comprehensive one year training program that encompasses a wide spectrum of voice, airway and swallowing problems. OHSU is closely connected with many of the local performance venues and we routinely treat professional singers, actors and speakers in conjunction with dedicated voice therapists. Common vocal pathologies that the fellow will encounter include traumatic vocal fold lesions, vocal fold paralysis and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. As part of the Knight Cancer Center, we evaluate and treat many cancers of the larynx, hypopharynx, cervical esophagus and trachea with a wide array of management approaches, from conservation laryngeal surgery by both endoscopic and open approaches to total laryngopharyngectomy for cervical esophageal lesions. Fellows work closely with members of the Head and Neck team as well as the Head and Neck Tumor Board, creating comprehensive treatment plans in conjunction with a variety of other physicians and surgeons, including members of our microvascular team, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, radiation and medical oncologists.
In addition to the management of benign and malignant lesions of the larynx, the Laryngology service manages many of the problems specific to the airway and esophagus. It is our belief that an effective laryngologist needs to be comfortable with a broad range of lesions that affect the upper aerodigestive tract and learn a wide range of management strategies from the least invasive to the most extensive resections possible. Fellows will learn a number of airway procedures from tracheal dilation and resection to more complex cricotracheal and multistage laryngotracheal reconstruction. When necessary, our surgeons work closely with the thoracic and general surgeons to address airway and upper mediastinal lesions that involve the mid and distal trachea and esophagus. In conjunction with our dedicated swallowing therapists, fellows will learn to perform endoscopic swallowing evaluations and interpret modified barium swallow procedures to develop a comprehensive approach to disorders of deglutition. In the clinic, fellows learn to perform advanced procedures, including transnasal esophagoscopy, esophageal dilation, injection laryngoplasty, laryngeal EMG with botulinum treatment and transnasal laser laryngoscopy with both KTP and fiber-based CO2 lasers. Within the hospital, laryngology fellows work with our residents to evaluate laryngeal problems on hospital consults, manage complicated airway problems and perform both percutaneous tracheotomies as well as percutaneous endogastric tube placements.
In short, we believe that our fellowship is unique in its breadth of experience, comprehensive in its training opportunity and is especially suited to the practice of academic laryngology. Qualified applicants should have a strong clinical background in otolaryngology with an ability to develop research projects in an independent fashion. Applicants typically apply in the 4th year of residency and our program does participate with the NRMP Laryngology Match. More information may be obtained from the NRMP Laryngology Match website.
Graduates of the Laryngology Fellowship at OHSU go on to be recognized as experts in this field.
Dr. Virginie Achim joined the department as our Head and Neck Surgery fellow in 2015. After completing that fellowship she has stayed on with our department and is completing a Laryngology Fellowship and a Microvascular Fellowship this year. Dr. Achim completed her undergraduate degree in Music and Chemistry at University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky and her Medical Degree from the Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover New Hampshire. She completed her residency in General Surgery at the Swedish Medical Center.