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Medical Students

We offer robust opportunities for medical students to learn about and gain experience in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

students in a classroom

M1 and M2 Experiences

Otolaryngology Shadowing - Open to M1 and M2 students at KUMC only
This experience will provide students with an opportunity to shadow within the Department Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Students will experience what Otolaryngologists do in a variety of settings, including the operating room and clinics. We would like medical students to see the breadth and depth of our field. We will keep track of and assign interested medical students to shadow each subspecialty.

To indicate your interest and confirm your availability, please fill out the Shadowing Opportunities Form. Enter the dates you are available and indicate if you are available in the AM (7:30-12:00) or PM (1:00-5:30). We will create the shadowing experience two weeks before desired month. Therefore, all selections must be made on the Shadowing Opportunities Form on or before the 15th of each month. (Ex: Opportunities in April 2024 will be unavailable after March 15, 2024.) You will receive an Outlook appointment and email confirmation one week prior to your shadowing date.

We will accept 4 students per month. Each student will have up to 4 opportunities to shadow each month. Priority will be given to students who have not rotated in the past.

Contact for more information:
Denise Rankin McField, Administrative Assistant (, 913-574-0181)

Honors/Scholarship and Discovery - Open to M1 students at KUMC only
Honors is a school-wide designation for students who have demonstrated excellence in scholarly productivity and academic excellence in the foundational and clinical excellence blocks. The Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery has developed an Honors project for M1 medical students. The project description is below.

Project Description: Eleven million individuals a year seek treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) with an estimated annual total cost of $8.6 billion. A subset of CRS is chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP), which is thought to affect 4% of the population. Nasal polyps are smooth, pale masses originating from the nasal middle meatus. Their presence may lead to nasal obstruction, hyposmia, and sinus dysfunction that impact the quality of life in affected individuals. Treatment for these patients is usually multimodal including, but not limited to, steroids, irrigations, immunotherapy, and surgery. An important facet of CRSwNP is early detection of recurrence. If detected promptly, increasing nasal inflammation can be treated with escalating the dose of maintenance topical steroids or the addition of oral steroids. However, if detect late when polyps have already returned and are sizable, treatment options are limited to surgical removal of the polyps. Despite appropriate surgery and medication, certain patients have recurrence of their polyposis, and treatment options are limited to increasing steroids or surgery. Smell, and specifically its loss, can be an early sign of polyp recurrence. Unfortunately, as the decline can be subtle, many patients do not notice until it is too late.

Olfactory deficits in patients with neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders are also well described in the literature. Smell tests are commonly used as a diagnostic component of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disorder. More recently links between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and olfactory dysfunction have also been published.

There are a few commercially available smell tests available, namely Sniffin’ Sticks and the University of Pennsylvania Smell identification Test (UPSIT). Unfortunately, the cost associated with these tests limits their applicability, particularly for at-home testing. We aim to validate and evaluate an at-home smell test, for eventual use in patient populations where olfactory dysfunction is a part of their disease process such as CRSwNP and those with neurodegenerative disorders. We currently lack the ability to objectively track and monitor symptoms that may herald worsening of disease and need for prompt evaluation to avoid the need for costly escalation of care. Ultimately, this may lead to availability to a cost-effective smell test for patient-home-monitoring of disease recurrence that may allow for earlier and effective intervention. The long term goal is to utilize this test for a variety of otolaryngic, neurologic, and developmental purposes.

Contact for more information:
Please refer to the Director of Honors and Enrichment on your campus for further questions.

Sample schedule:

January 1 – January 19

Meet with coach concerning Honors LOI

January 22

Deadline for LOI to Honors Committee
KC: Pam Shaw -
Salina: Tyler Hughes -
Wichita: James Kallail -

March 5 – March 9

SER week 3

April 30

Deadlines for Honors Project to honors committee for review

May 15 – May 18

SER week 4

May 28

Deadline for Honors Committee to notify students of project acceptance/rejection

May 31

Deadline for complete Honors Protocol to honors committee,
including IRB submission if necessary

Summer between
M1 - M2

1. Continuation of project
2. Data collection/entry/management
3. Meetings with research mentor

M3 Experiences

SURG 900. Junior Surgery Clerkship - Open to M3 students at KUMC only
Surgical problems and diseases are studied utilizing lectures, skills laboratory experiences, study questions, clinical problem discussion and live patients.  This course prepares the student to meet the pertinent aspects of the summative competencies of the University of Kansas School of Medicine during the third year of Medical School.  A particularly useful goal of this course is to teach the student to identify life-threatening conditions that require urgent intervention.  Although the skills of this course are necessary for an ambulatory practice, the skills that are taught in this course are most frequently seen and performed in the hospital setting.  The student is expected to have a basic understanding of normal and abnormal body function.  The student is expected to have completed successfully the basic course in physical diagnosis (years 1 and 2 of medical school).  Prerequisite: first and second year medical years. LEC. 0-8 Hours.

M4 Experiences

OTOR 901. Subinternship in Otolaryngology - Open to M4 students at KUMC only (4-week rotation)
The objective of this clerkship is to provide students with advanced experience in otolaryngology.  Students will be assigned to the Otolaryngology Service at KUMC.  Students will participate in the management of common ENT conditions in a role similar to that of a resident.  Clinical work will be supplemented by conferences and other educational activities.  This clerkship fulfills the Subinternship Selective requirement. LEC. 4 Hours.

OTOR 911. Advanced Otorhinolaryngology - Open to M4 KUMC - W, KUMC - S, students from other institutions (4-week rotation)
Through in-service training experiences the student will be taught to assess otolaryngological disorders using advanced and relatively sophisticated techniques.  Instruction will be provided on the screening of hearing and in basic principles of acoustics, the vestibular system and psychoacoustics.  Instruction will be provided in those areas where the interaction of the otolaryngologist and the general physician can best be utilized to the advantage of the patient.  The objectives of this course are to acquaint the student with basic clinical otolaryngology and, in addition, the surgical aspect of the specialty.  Participation in the operating room is emphasized along with inpatient and outpatient experience.  Offered in modules I-XII.  Prerequisite: Medical Basic Sciences. FLD. 4 Hours.

KUMC Wichita and Salina Campus students will work with an enrollment specialist to enroll.

Students from other institutions will apply via VSLO (Visiting Students Learning Opportunities).

OTOR 915. Research Problems in Otorhinolaryngology - Open to M4 students at KUMC and other institutions (4-week rotation)
This course will provide the interested student with laboratory or clinical research experience necessary for investigation of research problems related to otorhinolaryngology.  The student may pursue an independent research problem or participate in a project currently under investigation by a staff member.  A faculty mentor must be identified PRIOR TO submission and approval of this elective by the KU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.  All projects must be reviewed and approved by the mentor at least two months in advance of the intended start date.  The objective of this course is to generate data suitable for publication or presentation at the Student Research Forum.  Prerequisite: Special arrangement with faculty mentor. LEC. 4 Hours. 

Contact for more information:
Dr. Frank Materia (

OTOR 916. Ambulatory Specialties Selective in Otolaryngology - Open to M4 students at KUMC only (2-week rotation)
The objectives of this two week selective course will be to expose the fourth year medical student to clinical and surgical aspects of otolaryngology head and neck surgery. A list of skills and procedures to be observed will be provided. The student will be asked to have this checked off by either an Otolaryngology faculty member or resident. Students will also be required to complete modules covering the head and neck examination and ENT-specific pathology through content generated by the Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery directed for primary care training. LEC. 2 Hours.

Sub-Internship in Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery Stipend

The KU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery would like to invite senior medical students i) with experience serving or living in underserved communities and ii) who faced a barrier or obstacle to obtaining higher education to apply for a visiting clerkship in our department.  Students who are members of groups underrepresented in medicine are encouraged to apply.

Program Goal

Participating students will be exposed to the breadth of Otolaryngology, and both clinical and research opportunities are available. The program will facilitate appropriate networking opportunities and help with career planning through faculty mentorship. Recipients will be paired with faculty and resident mentors.

The clerkship comes with a $2,000 stipend to include fee reimbursement for your application, travel, living, and housing expenses. This stipend will be awarded once during each academic year.


  • Clerkships are only available to medical students attending LCME accredited osteopathic and allopathic medical schools in the U.S. and Canada.
  • VSAS application and acceptance by the KU SoM is required. Requirements are posted on the Visiting Medical Students webpage. The application process begins March 18, 2024.
  • Recipients are required to attend the away rotation.
  • Receipts must be submitted to receive reimbursement.

To apply, please submit your application materials to Toni Holthaus, MBA at

  1. Short essay (no more than 750 words) describing i) your interest in the sub-internship, your experience serving or living in underserved communities, and barriers or obstacles you faced in obtaining higher education. You may include any experiences or circumstances that have posed a disadvantage toward achieving higher education. (Examples to consider include but are not limited to: parental income, parents working multiple jobs, applicant working to support education, 1st generation college graduate, lack of resources, limited extracurricular activities growing up, or exposure to trauma)
  2. CV
  3. Letter of recommendation from an Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery faculty member

Application Period and Decision

Applications are due by 5/15/24, prior to the earliest requested rotation. Applicants will be notified by 6/1/2024. 

Contacts for more information:
Ms. Toni Holthaus, MBA, Senior Program Coordinator,


Ear, Nose, and Throat Interest Group
The Ear, Nose, and Throat Interest Group offers KUMC students the opportunity to learn about Otolaryngology and related subspecialties. Faculty and residents in the KU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery routinely visit the group to present information about our department, the ENT specialization, and learning and outreach activities in our area. Find information about upcoming interest group meetings here.

Open house for students

Research Experiences - Open to all students
The KU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery offers research opportunities for medical students throughout the year. We perform a variety of clinical, translational and basic science research, and we routinely work with medical students in all phases of the research process. Students gain experience in Otolaryngology and related subspecialities, statistical analysis, database building, IRB application development, and scientific writing and audiovisual communication.

There are several tasks that students need to complete through the University in order to be able to effectively participate in research. We have designed the Student Research Interest Form to help you complete these tasks and to define your interest in ENT research.  The Student Research Interest Form will walk you through the steps for: 1) CITI Training, 2) Epic Medical Records Access and 3) Redcap Access (database/survey program). The form includes instructions and links to training and relevant forms for gaining access to the Epic Medical Records Program and the O2 system. HIPAA training is only required for visiting medical students. For the O2 access form, please complete the highlighted sections to the best of your ability. If you have questions about these forms, contact Dr. Frank Materia.

Contact for more information:
Dr. Frank Materia (

KU Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery provides faculty and resident mentorship for medical students during rotations and research experiences. We welcome residents into our department family and encourage networking. At the end of every medical student rotation, our residents and rotating medical students celebrate the learning experience.

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Otolaryngology–
Head & Neck Surgery
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 3010
Kansas City, KS 66160