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 five year program, for a total of 18 residents. During these five years, residents gain experience in the diagnosis and medical and surgical management of all types of patients. A major advantage of our program is its variety of outstanding hospitals. The sponsoring institution is University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Medical Center. 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 specialities including a level-1 tra

uma center. The Wade Park VA Hospital is our other major affiliated teaching hospital with a full range of up to date facilities. All hospitals are centrally located in University Circle and the near west side of Cleveland. No off-site rotations are needed.

Year 1 (ORL-1)

The first year of training includes rotations through Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Oral Surgery, Trama Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Neurosurgery, and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

A protected four-month block of research time during the third year is part of the curriculum, and residents at all levels are encouraged to engage in clinical and basic science research. In selected instances, a particular resident may be provided time to engage in specific research of his or her special interest.

The Department provides every resident time and financial assistance to attend a national meeting, either of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, or the Combined Otolaryngological Spring Meetings. Residents presenting at other meetings are sponsored by the department. In addition, all residents are expected 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 continuing education.

Because residents are encouraged to stay in academic programs as full-time faculty members or to pursue private practice careers, this residency program fosters the development of residents' teaching abilities and interpersonal relationships, and includes a code of ethics and awareness of medical liability and malpractice problems as part of the training program format. Faculty members stress socio-economic aspects of healthcare delivery, including the importance of cost containment and the impact of managed care.

Year 2 (ORL-2)

Second-year residents are initially assigned to the services at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital, the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and MetroHealth Medical Center. They are responsible for the supervised 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 patients.

They perform procedures such as tonsillectomies; adenoidectomies; myringotomies; tympanostomy with PE tube insertion; septoplasties; and other endoscopic, laser and soft tissue surgical procedures with direct attendance and supervision by faculty and senior residents. They also assist faculty and senior residents with all major surgical procedures and may be the surgeon of record in some cases.

In consultation with faculty advisors, second-year residents attend the monthly research conference and select and begin work on a specific clinical or basic research project. They become familiar with the medical records room, tumor registry and methods of retrieving necessary information. Regular completion of the home study courses given by the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery is a requirement. They must take the national annual in-service examination given in the spring.

Second-year residents, under the supervision of faculty from the Department of Anatomy of the medical school as well as from our Department, act as instructors during the cadaver dissection of the head and neck by freshman medical students. Rotations through University Hospitals, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and MetroHealth are included.

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 procedures and raising of major 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.

Rotations performed by third-year residents provide an opportunity to acquire knowledge of related medical specialties. They have a four-month block of protected time for clinical and/or basic science research under the direction of a faculity advisor.

Requirements again include the home study course of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and the national yearly in-service examination.

Year 4 (ORL-4)

Fourth-year residents, with the faculty's supervision and senior residents' assistance, perform much of the major head and neck surgery and a significant portion of the cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. 

Fourth-year residents rotate as acting chief residents through the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital. Here they have complete responsibility for inpatient medical care and outpatient clinic. They directly supervise an ORL-2 resident on the service.

Fourth-year residents spend four months on Otology for a broad experience in Pediatric and Adult Otology and skull-base procedures in conjunctiion with the department of Neurosurgery.

In addition, they are expected to complete or significantly advance their clinical and/or basic science research project.

As in previous years, they are required to complete the home study course of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and take the national yearly in-service examination.

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

Fifth-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 serves 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. (All residents in the program are expected to assist in the teaching of medical students rotating through the Department.) Basic science and clinical research projects are completed, and scientific papers are submitted for presentation at local, regional and national meetings.


1. Grand Rounds
Every Wednesday mornings at 7 or 8 a.m.

2. Radiology Conference
One Wednesday a month at 8 a.m., presented by full-time faculty radiologists

3. Pathology Conference
One Wednesday a month at 7 a.m., presented by full-time faculty pathologists

4. Journal Club
Once per month, mornings at University Hospitals or an evening with dinner off-site; a regular review and critical evaluation of current literature and pertinent classical literature

5. Quality Assessment and Morbidity/Mortality Conference
One Wednesday per month at 8 a.m.

6. Tumor Board
Wednesdays at 11 a.m. at the VAMC and Fridays at 12 noon at University Hospitals

Mini Courses

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

Temporal Bone Surgical Anatomy Laboratory

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

Endoscopic Anatomy of the Paranasal Sinuses

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

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

  • Nicole Maronian, MD

  • Freedom Johnson, MD

  • Joseph Carter, MD

  • Maroun Semaan, MD

  • Todd Otteson, MD

  • Diana Ponsky, MD

  • Chad Zender, MD