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Residency Program Overview

General Information

The University of Kansas School of Medicine Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OTOHNS) training program accepts four new residents each year through the National Resident Matching Program ( The faculty reviews resident applications received through the NRMP. Applicants must graduate from a LCME-accredited medical school in the United States or Canada and be able to obtain Kansas and Missouri medical licenses. Approximately forty to fifty applicants are invited for interviews each year. The program faculty and PGY-3 residents interview invited applicants. The remaining OTOHNS residents are also available for questions and tours during interview days. Interviewees are ranked on the basis of their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills and personal demeanor. The University of Kansas Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Program does not discriminate with regard to sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability or veteran status. Following the interviews, the faculty meets to prepare a rank list of the applicants in preparation for the final rank list submission. The final NRMP match results are then available in March.

The OTOHNS program consists of five years of OTOHNS training. The PGY-1 year consists of a combination of rotations on OTOHNS, surgical specialties, general surgery, ICU, anesthesia and emergency medicine. All four PGY-1 residents rotate at The University of Kansas Medical Center, Truman Medical Center, and St. Luke's Medical Center. In total, five Medical Centers comprise the educational foundation for the University of Kansas School of Medicine OTOHNS Residency Program. The remaining four years are focused on OTOHNS training. The last year of OTOHNS training is the chief resident year. The entire five years of clinical training is under the direction of the Residency Program Director, Keith Sale, MD; and Associate Program Director, Lisa Shnayder, MD. The department's research program is directed by the Resident Research Committee, chaired by the OTOHNS Director of Research, Dianne Durham, PhD and Kevin Sykes, MPH. The University of Kansas Residency Program has received a favorable review with commendation by the ACGME OTOHNS Residency Review Committee in 2010. No citations were given and a maximum five-year inter-review interval was awarded. In addition our Residency Program was rewarded a ten year cycle within the ACGME's next accreditation system (NAS). The Residency Program was approved in 2008 by the Otolaryngology Resident Review Committee to expand from three to four OTOHNS residents per PGY-level. The Program will reach its full complement of twenty residents (PGY-1 through PGY-5) in 2015.

Residents - Alumni Day 2013

The University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) is a 600-bed hospital, which includes a brand new Neuro/ENT ICU and Neuro/ENT Unit. Six to eight OTOHNS residents rotating at KUMC are given primary responsibility for the inpatient care and surgical management of all patients admitted to KUMC. The KUMC Blue Team (Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Head and Neck Surgery) and Red Team (Laryngology, Otology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Rhinology) are each led by a chief resident. This allows for an in-depth and focused educational experience into each subspecialty field. Two OTOHNS physician assistants and a patient care coordinator complement clinical service. The KUMC attending staff physicians closely supervise the care of OTOHNS patients. There is no differentiation between private and non-private patients. There is a graded, supervised progression of responsibility throughout residency. Residents participate in nearly all of the surgical procedures at KUMC. In addition to the OTOHNS outpatient clinic and minor OR, there are typically three to six concurrent OTOHNS operating rooms in use each day. OTOHNS residents also have the opportunity to participate in ambulatory clinics and surgery center operations with OTOHNS faculty at our KU MedWest Facility. 

The University of Kansas OTOHNS Residency Program is fully integrated with the OTOHNS Service at the Veterans' Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Kansas City, Missouri, which is located nearby. The VAMC is a 300 bed hospital with seven beds assigned to OTOHNS. One chief resident and one junior resident are assigned to the VAMC OTOHNS service at all times. One of the VAMC attending staff physicians is present at all times to supervise the outpatient clinic and the operating theater. The chief resident has direct responsibility for patient care under the supervision of the OTOHNS faculty, providing the opportunity for residents to manage patients with more autonomy and responsibility. The attending staff is consulted on all operative cases and a surgical plan is determined prior to surgery, which enables OTOHNS residents to perform all of the surgical procedures at the VAMC. The OTOHNS team is in the major OR two days per week and in the OTOHNS outpatient clinic and the minor OR the remaining three days.

Typically, PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents rotate on the St. Luke's Medical Center (SLMC) OTOHNS Team. SLMC is a 560-bed multi-specialty private hospital located just a few minutes from KUMC. The rotation at St. Luke's provides a unique opportunity for residents to experience a private practice-like setting. The rotating OTOHNS resident is under the close supervision of the five SLMC attending physicians who are a combination of academic and adjunct clinical faculty.

Two junior OTOHNS residents rotate on the combined Truman Medical Center (TMC) and Children's Mercy Hospital (CMH) OTOHNS team. TMC is located about 10 minutes to the east of KUMC and is attached to CMH. Beginning in 2014, a third OTOHNS resident will complement the existing team. TMC is the main institution of The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and is a 209-bed facility. OTOHNS residents are under the supervision of the two KU OTOHNS faculty physicians. The educational experience at TMC includes head and neck surgery and general otolaryngology in a county-hospital setting. One of the rotating residents is responsible for patient activity at CMH, which is a 160 bed regional pediatric tertiary care medical center. The resident works closely with the OTOHNS attending staff in the outpatient, inpatient, and surgical management of the full spectrum of Pediatric OTOHNS problems. There are currently two academic KU faculty at CMH and five adjunct CMH academic faculty. The majority of the resident's time is spent focusing on the workup and management of issues requiring surgical intervention, with considerable time also spent in the clinic and evaluating patients on a consultative basis.  Nurses and nurse practitioners assist in the care of patients on this rotation.

There is currently a Head and Neck Fellow at The University of Kansas Department of OTOHNS and a Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellow at Children's Mercy Hospital.  Both fellows serve as clinical instructors at the same time while completing their year of subspecialty training.

Last modified: Oct 31, 2013