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The resident curriculum is a comprehensive educational program incorporating extensive training in clinical practice, formal didactics, research, and dedicated educational courses and simulations.  Residents are encouraged to actively participate in the decision-making process regarding educational content.  Several key details regarding our academic curriculum include:

  • Grand Rounds are held weekly (Fridays 6:30 to 7:30 am) and include formal presentations by a variety of speakers, from Northwestern faculty to invited faculty from other institutions to residents, fellows, and medical students.
  • Formal resident didactic sessions are held weekly after Grand Rounds (Friday 7:30 – 8:30 am) and cover a variety of topics organized by subspecialty for more structured and cohesive learning.
  • Pediatric subspecialty Grand Rounds and didactic sessions are also held weekly while residents are on their Lurie Children’s rotations.
  • Head and Neck Conference is held weekly before Tumor Board for residents on the head and neck service and covers a variety of head and neck cancer topics, often led by residents and the fellow. Every month, one session is replaced by formal Laryngology “Stroboscopy” Rounds.
  • Monthly Rhinology and Facial Plastics Conferences are held and run by Northwestern faculty and fellows.
  • Morbidity & Mortality Conference is held once per month.
  • Journal Club is held bi-monthly, organized by subspecialty, and run by faculty and residents together.
  • Special courses offered throughout the year include the anatomy course for the PGY-2 residents, temporal bone course run by the neurotologists, joint-neurosurgery skull base course, endoscopic sinus surgery course, facial plastics cosmetic injectables course, facial fracture plating course, and fine needle aspiration biopsy course.
  • A dedicated research block is incorporated into the PGY-3 year.  Our residents prepare for this block through meetings and preparation directed by our Research Committee.  Residents are encouraged to present their research at regional and national meetings.  They also participate in the city-wide Chicago Laryngological and Otological Society Lederer Pierce competition and Northwestern’s annual resident research symposium.
  • Resident memberships to the AAO-HNS are provided as well as subscriptions to the Home Study Course and Board Vitals.
  • Training sites include Northwestern Medicine (NM), John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County (CCH) and Lurie Children’s Hospital (LCH).

Training by Year


PGY-1 residents spend six months on the Otolaryngology services at NM and Lurie Children's. PGY-1 residents also spend one month on each of the following rotations: plastic surgery, anesthesiology, neurological surgery, surgical oncology, surgical intensive care and general surgery night float.


Three consecutive months are spent on each of the following rotations: NM White Service, NM Purple Service, Cook County Hospital (CCH) Inpatient Service, and Lurie Children’s. The White/Purple PGY-2 residents are included in the NM general call pool while the CCH and Lurie Children’s residents participate in separate call pools.  There is no responsibility for cross-hospital coverage. All call is taken from home.


Four consecutive months are spent on each of the following rotations: NM White Service, Dedicated Research Block, and Pediatric Otolaryngology at Lurie Children’s. The White Service and Research residents are part of the NM general call pool while, similar to CCH, there is a separate call pool for Lurie Children’s.


Four consecutive months are spent on both the NM Purple Service and Cook County Hospital (CCH) Inpatient Service. There is an additional four-month-long “Hybrid Rotation” combining time at Northwestern and CCH. During this rotation, the PGY-4 resident spends a few days per week at CCH, with a focus on sinus, laryngology, and otology cases.  The rest of the week is spent at Northwestern, with both dedicated time in clinic and the operating room.  The CCH PGY-4 is part of the primary call pool at CCH.  The hybrid resident is part of the primary call pool at NM.  The NM Purple PGY-4 is part of the NM back-up call pool.

Chief Year

The PGY-5 resident will spend four months each as chief of the NM white, NM purple and CCH services. The chief on NM purple also serves as the administrative chief.  For all rotations, the chief resident takes back-up call one week at a time.

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