Clinical Training

The U-M Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery's residency offers a robust clinical training experience.  This is a summary of the academic structure of the training program.

5-Year Clinical Training Program

Our five-year program offers a balance of inpatient, outpatient, operative and research experience.  Residents in this program spend six months doing research during their PGY-4 year.

6-Year Advanced Research Training in Otolaryngology Program

Like our five-year residency program, our six-year Advanced Research Training in Otolaryngology Program offers a balance of inpatient, outpatient, operative and research experience.  Residents in our six-year program spend an additional 12-months doing research, which begins during the PGY-3 year, for a total of 18 research months.

Program Rotations

The department is divided into eight services:




 Laryngology, Rhinology, General Otolaryngology


 Head and Neck Surgery


 Veteran's Administration Hospital


 Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery/ Cranial Base




 6-month Research Rotation


 Research and/or Specialized Rotation


PGY-1 residents are assigned to twelve one-month rotations.  Residents spend three months on otolaryngology, five months on general surgery and one month each on anesthesiology, emergency medicine, intensive care and neurosurgery. Coordination of the PGY-1 general surgery rotations ensures our residents have the best possible educational experience on every rotation.

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Rotation (three months)

During the otolaryngology - head and neck surgery rotation, PGY-1 residents spend six weeks on our Gold Service.  During this time, PGY-1 resident also spend Thursdays with our Green Service, corresponding with the Green Service Otology Conference and temporal bone drilling.  Residents spend at least one day with audiology, speech language pathology and the vestibular laboratory. The remaining six weeks are spent on the Mott Service.

This rotation structure exposes residents to otolaryngic scenarios across the spectrum, providing a balance of clinic, inpatient, consultation and operative experience, resulting in an abundance of learning opportunities.  Through numerous conferences, rounds and lectures offered throughout the year, the PGY 1 residents are also introduced to the department's academic endeavors.


PGY-2 residents spend three months on the Gold, Mott, Blue and Green Services.  These rotations afford PGY-2 residents the opportunity to obtain a strong base of knowledge and experience upon which to build.

PGY-2 residents have less responsibility for the organization of the rotation and teaching.  There is a balance between the clinic and operative experience and a strong emphasis on developing and acquiring the skills and knowledge required to care for patients.  System-based practice and the concepts of patient-based learning are also emphasized.  Residents have the opportunity to enhance their written and verbal communication skills when communicating with other clinicians and presenting during teaching rounds and conferences.

PYG-2 residents take call with senior resident backup.


PGY-3 residents spend three months each on the Gold, Blue, V.A. and Red Services. While on the Gold Service, there is an additional focus on rhinology, with residents attending rhinology clinics and operating rooms.  This provides them with extensive exposure to sinus disease, rhinology, allergy and immunology.

PGY-3 residents are expected to take on more responsibility for patient care, teaching and organization under the supervision of faculty and senior residents.  They make significant progress in the area of medical knowledge and offer more substantial contributions to case discussions at rounds and conferences.  With the assistance of faculty, PGY-3 residents select a research project and complete a research proposal for presentation to the Research Committee and at the Charles J. Krause Lectureship.

PGY-3 residents continue to take call with senior resident backup.


PGY-4 residents spend three months each on the Mott and Green services, assuming chief resident responsibilities during these months.  This gives residents the opportunity to develop and improve their leadership, organizational and communication skills.  PGY-4 residents have increased responsibility for supervising and teaching junior residents and students and organizing rotations to ensure work is distributed fairly and appropriately among the service team members.  They are expected to develop, communicate and carry out complete treatment plans under faculty supervision.

The remaining six months are spent completing a research project.  This work is presented during the Charles J. Krause Lectureship and submitted for publication.

PGY-4 residents contribute substantially during case discussions, rounds and conferences.  They also take back-up senior call.


PGY-5 residents are the chief residents on the Blue, Gold, Red and V.A. Services. These rotations demand excellent organizational, communication and leadership skills.  Junior residents and students assigned to these services, so PGY-5 residents have an excellent opportunity to hone their teaching skills.  In addition, they are expected to lead discussions at rounds and conferences.

PGY-5 residents perform complex procedures under the supervision of faculty and supervise junior residents performing less complex procedures.  They have the opportunity to act as consultants, developing and communicating diagnostic and treatment plans to consulting services with faculty supervision.

PGY-5 residents provide back-up senior call.