The residency training program in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery accepts four residents per year alternating with three residents per year into its program.  During these five years, residents gain experience in the diagnosis, medical and surgical management of the full spectrum of otolaryngologic disease. A major advantage of our program is its variety of outstanding hospitals. The sponsoring institution is University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Medical Center (Level I Trauma). This is a private tertiary care referral hospital that includes Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, which is consistently ranked as one of the top children's hospitals in America. MetroHealth Medical Center is an outstanding county hospital providing care in all specialties and is also a busy Level I trauma center.The Wade Park VA Hospital is our other major affiliated teaching hospital with a full range of up-to-date facilities. All hospitals, except for MetroHealth, are centrally located near University Circle. MetroHealth is a short 15-minute drive away.

The Department provides time and financial assistance to every resident for attendance at national meetings, either the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, or the Combined Otolaryngological Spring Meetings. The department sponsors residents presenting at other meetings who have accepted posters or podium presentations. In addition, all residents have the opportunity and are encouraged to attend the many continuing medical education courses and meetings sponsored by local and state societies. The state of Ohio is fortunate to have excellent otolaryngology training programs with high caliber collaborative continuing education.

Residents are encouraged to develop their own personal interest within our diverse field; whether this includes commitment to an academic career as full-time faculty members or in the private practice arena.  This residency program fosters the development of residents' teaching abilities and interpersonal relationships, while teaching the business of medicine in terms of medical liability and malpractice, quality and evidence based medicine pathways, and practice management strategies as part of the training format. Faculty members stress socio-economic aspects of healthcare delivery, including the importance of cost effective medicine and the impact of accountable care organizations.

The department pays for and expects completion of the Home Study courses given by the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, which provide excellent preparation for in-service studies. Residents in PGY years 2-5 must take the national annual in-service examination given in the Spring of each academic year.

Year 1 (ORL-1)

The first year of training includes rotations through Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Oral Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Neurosurgery, Vascular Surgery, Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. A contiguous block of time on the ENT service readies the resident for the transition to our service full-time in the following year.

Year 2 (ORL-2)

Second-year residents are assigned to the services at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and MetroHealth Medical Center. They are responsible for the pre- and postoperative care of all Otolaryngology - Head and Neck surgery patients. Other assignments include on-call duties and consultations, always in close contact with senior residents and faculty members. These experiences teach them to take good histories, perform complete physical examinations and understand the proper work-up and management of a variety of ENT patients.

Under supervision, they begin to perform procedures commensurate with their growing experience such as adenotonsillectomy, myringotomy with PE tube insertion, & septoplasty. They also assist faculty and senior residents with all major surgical procedures.

In consultation with faculty advisors, second-year residents attend the monthly research conference and begin to develop a plan for a specific clinical or basic research project. Further, under the supervision of faculty from the Department of Anatomy at CWRU, PGY-2 residents act as instructors during the cadaver dissection of the head and neck course for freshman medical students.

Year 3 (ORL-3)

Third-year residents consolidate the basic skills and knowledge gained the previous year. They perform surgical procedures of intermediate magnitude, including neck dissection, maxillofacial trauma and involvement in reconstructive flaps, under the supervision of faculty members and senior residents. Third-year residents also are given more responsibility for managing patients in the clinics of the affiliated hospitals. This permits increased hands-on experience.
A protected block of time for clinical and/or basic science research under the direction of a faculty advisor is also a requirement during this training year.

Year 4 (ORL-4)

Fourth-year residents, with the faculty's supervision, perform much of the major head and neck surgery and trauma. Fourth-year residents rotate as acting chief residents through the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Here they have responsibility for the inpatient medical service while directly supervising a PGY-2 resident. A rotation on Otology provides extensive broad experience in Pediatric and Adult Otology and skull-base procedures. Final rotations in Laryngology, Rhinology, Facial Plastics and Head and Neck surgery complete this busy surgical year.

Year 5 (ORL-5), The Chief's Year

Chief residents assume complete responsibility for the outpatient clinic and inpatient medical care at University Hospitals, MetroHealth Medical Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Each fifth-year resident take turns serving as administrative Chief Resident. Chief Residents have direct supervisory responsibility over all junior members of the house staff as well as medical students.

Chief residents also perform most of the major surgical procedures. They have primary responsibility for teaching medical students at affiliated hospitals and for assisting in giving didactic lectures and conferences for medical students rotating through the Department. It is a year of tremendous growth and development that prepares the resident for fellowship, an academic position, or a private practice experience.


1. Grand Rounds
Once Monthly, Wednesday mornings at 7 a.m.

2. Pathology Conference
Once Monthly, Wednesday at 7 a.m., presented by full-time faculty pathologists

3. Radiology Conference
Every other month, Wednesday at 8 a.m., presented by full-time faculty radiologists

4. Journal Club
Once Monthly, Wednesday 7am at University Hospitals or an evening with dinner off-site

5. Quality Assessment and Morbidity/Mortality Conference
Once Monthly, Wednesday at 7 a.m.

6. Tumor Board
Wednesdays at Noon (VAMC), 4-5 pm (Metro Health) and Fridays at 7 am (University Hospitals)

Mini Courses

Rotating courses are offered over a two-year cycle, providing intense instruction in particularly important or difficult topics. These include head and neck surgical anatomy and dissections, paranasal sinus anatomy and endoscopic surgery, laryngeal anatomy and surgery, myocutaneous flap anatomy and reconstructive flap surgery.

Temporal Bone Surgical Anatomy Laboratory

Knowledge of temporal bone anatomy and surgical skills are developed in our state of the art Temporal Bone Surgical Anatomy Laboratory. An intensive course is given each year for ten weeks during which each resident dissects several temporal bones with careful supervision from Otology faculty. In addition, each resident is provided with a set of basic instruments and is encouraged to spend time drilling regularly throughout the year.

Endoscopic Anatomy of the Paranasal Sinuses

In conjunction with the temporal bone anatomy course, the full time Rhinology faculty gives a review of the endoscopic anatomy of the paranasal sinuses. This intensive course, using hands on cadaver dissections, is an essential element in learning the immensely popular and successful technique of endoscopic sinus surgery.

Microvascular, Ultrasound and Trauma Plating Workshop

The residents, proctored by our Head and Neck Reconstructive attendings are able to practice performing a microvascular anastomosis in animal and synthetic models, perform ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration, and perform simulated mandibular and midface osteotomies as well as facial fracture stabilization with rigid fixation. It is a comprehensive course that given to the residents during protected time once a year.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Mary Cerveny, the Residency Coordinator, at or 216-844-8433.

Resident Interview Information

Interview Dates:

  • December 13, 2014

  • January 10, 2015

  • January 31, 2015

Hotel Information

Life in Cleveland

Applicant Interview Committee:

  • Cliff Megerian, MD

  • James Arnold, MD

  • Kumar Alagraman, PhD

  • Nicole Maronian, MD

  • Brian McDermott, PhD

  • Freedom Johnson, MD

  • Joseph Carter, MD

  • Maroun Semaan, MD

  • Todd Otteson, MD

  • Diana Ponsky, MD

  • Chad Zender, MD