Robust-education-programs_-Residents-and-FellowsThe wide variety of ENT fellowship programs at The Ohio State University College of Medicine allows young physicians to pursue advanced training with a high degree of specialization at a tertiary referral center.

“We’re proud to offer fellows a high surgical volume with great clinician-mentors in a collegial environment,” says James Rocco, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Ohio State College of Medicine. “With our legacy of emphasizing hands-on experience, when fellows leave here, they are very well prepared. Plus, Columbus is a great place to live and offers our fellows a nice quality of life.”

The Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery offers seven fellowship programs: Allergy and Immunology; Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery; Laryngology; Neurotology; Pediatric Otolaryngology; and Skull Base Surgery. These programs, which regularly match fellows, pull top residents from programs across the country. Some programs, like Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery, have expanded to include two fellows per year to accommodate high demand.

With so many program options, fellows can gain greater depth in specific areas of otolaryngology while collaborating cross-departmentally and with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. For example, the Skull Base Surgery fellowship blends advanced skull-base surgery and head and neck oncology. With one of the premier skull-base surgical programs in the country at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, this program gives fellows hands-on experience with world-renowned neurosurgical colleagues, a high surgical volume and highly complex cases to hone challenging surgical skills.

“As the only tertiary academic medical center in central Ohio, we can offer great diversity and high complexity of cases for our fellows,” says Kyle VanKoevering, MD, clinical associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Ohio State College of Medicine. “This provides an ideal training environment for fellowship experience. Combined with world-renowned skull-base surgical experts, our fellows receive personalized, dedicated teaching and hands-on experience that enables them to significantly improve their ability to care for patients.”

The Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship, new in 2023, filled in its first year with the first fellow joining in July 2024. This program is a unique collaboration with a community practice, which will give fellows the opportunity to learn in both academic and private practice and prepare them for a range of options after graduation.

“Fellowship candidates are coming to Ohio State because it’s a comprehensive training experience,” says Leslie Kim, MD, MPH, clinical associate professor and director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. “We are unique in that we offer lots of experiences that provide a mix of cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.”

Moreover, this program offers fellows the opportunity to learn under Dr. Kim and Ryan Nesemeier, MD, two leading physicians in the space of gender-affirming care.

The Laryngology fellowship, similarly, offers fellows a collaborative engagement featuring multiple perspectives. With five laryngologists, all of whom trained at different institutions, and multiple speech pathologists, the laryngology division at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is one of the largest in the country. This robustness allows fellows to learn several different ways of diagnosing, treating and managing voice, airway and swallowing disorders. This program also allows fellows to train in specialty areas like professional voice and dysphagia, a unique offering for advanced learning.

“When physicians come here for fellowships, they are making a significant time investment to gain significant experience,” Dr. Rocco says. “They want to come to a place where they are going to learn — and that’s what we can offer at Ohio State.”

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