General ENT Application FAQ

There are currently around 120 otolaryngology residency programs in the U.S.

Residency spots differ per program. Some programs may have 5-6 residents per year, while others may have 1-2 residents per year. The OHSU Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery program has 3 residency spots per year. 

This is a 5-year residency.  

ENT residency spots are typically competitive. Applicants tend to have higher than average USMLE Step 1 scores, strong clinical achievement, and have participated in research. However, there are other, non-academic aspects that make applicants stand out, such as extracurricular activities or volunteering activities. These are typically highlighted in the resume with the personal statement being a snapshot of who you are as a person. At the OHSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, applicant experiences and unique perspectives are as important as academic accomplishments in our evaluation process of future residents. Information about our current residents can be found here: 

Current Residents

There is no one factor that leads to the best otolaryngology residency program. Personal priorities and individual goals for training are what make a program the best for each resident. These factors may include unique program qualities, location and presence of family or significant others in the area, number of faculty representing each specialty, research opportunities, size of the program, and more For information specific to the OHSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, please see the resources listed below the FAQ.

As per any residency, there are equally rewarding and challenges experiences. Residency is about immersing yourself into the learning and practicing environment, and graduating as a well-trained surgeon. However, resident wellness is also important, and our department places a significant emphasis on resident wellness. Our in-house call allows residents to have days off after each call shift. Residents are given wellness days throughout the year to have time for self-care. Our program director hosts quarterly dinners with residents at a local restaurant or brewery to get direct resident feedback. Our program also pays for every resident’s loupes, sponsors resident social gatherings, and pairs each resident with a faculty mentor, pairs each junior resident with a senior resident mentor, and has a focus on wellness including our own wellness committee comprised of department faculty. More about wellness in our program can be found here:

Residency Wellness

At OHSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, residents are selected based upon their preparedness, abilities, aptitudes, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity. Applications will be accepted only through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Services). If you have any questions about ERAS, please contact the Dean's office at your school of medicine. Your application will be considered complete when it includes the CAF (common application form), the Dean's letter from your medical school, letters of recommendation from at least three additional physicians, medical school grade transcript, a copy of all available USMLE board score results (USMLE Step 1 at the minimum), a photo, and a personal statement. Your personal statement should include a brief autobiography, your expectations of a residency program, and a statement of your future career goals. In addition, applicants must be legally able to work in the US, or eligible to obtain work authorization. Further information about accommodations and interviews can be found here:

Applying and Interviewing

This year the Otolaryngology residency interview season begins in November and extends through February. Some programs may interview students during their away rotations. Our program offers 3 interview dates which are December 14, 2020, January 11, 2021, and February 8, 2021. Further information about accommodations and interviews can be found here:

Applying and Interviewing

The OHSU program participates in the NRMP MATCH. Offers for our three interview dates are sent in the Fall, typically around October. At OHSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the three applicants who are accepted into the residency program each year will be notified by the matching program, followed by a telephone call and correspondence from the department chairman.

A day in the life of an ENT resident is different across programs. At the OHSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, residents are scheduled to have dedicated time in each specialty. Operative experience begins intern year, when residents are on the Pediatric and Head and Neck services.  

Typically, the morning is spent rounding on patients. The Head and Neck rotation is our largest service, and residents round each morning with the attendings and fellows so that plans for patients are made and communicated at the start of each day. After rounds, residents spend time in clinic or the operating room. During the week, day consults are split up between the different services, so that resident clinical experiences on their rotations are maximized. Our program features in-house junior call, so that after a night on call residents have the next day off. Residents additionally have one-month of protected research time during their PGY-2 year, and five-months of protected research time during their PGY-3 year. There are also conferences during the week that residents attend, including Grand Rounds, teaching sessions, tumor boards, and more. Detailed information about our resident curriculum and schedule can be found here: 

Approach to Education

Due to restrictions and concerns due to COVID-19, OHSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery will be interviewing candidates for residency virtually. However, we have set up a variety of virtual sessions hosted by residents and faculty to meet prospective applicants and answer questions about our program. 

Check OHSU News and OHSU Coronavirus Resources for the latest updates on our Covid-19 response.