The Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine offers a residency training program leading to one year of chief resident experience and eligibility for certification by the American Board of Otolaryngology. Physician trainees develop competence in all aspects of modern otolaryngology – head and neck surgery and the communication skills necessary for the compassionate and effective care of patients from all backgrounds. To accomplish these goals, residents have appropriately supervised experience in private and governmental hospitals.

Residents spend one year in general surgery at Northwestern and four years in otolaryngology. Training experience is individualized, with progressively increasing level of responsibility as clinical competence is achieved. The majority of training takes place in the teaching hospitals of the McGaw Medical Center. In addition to the varied experiences available within the Northwestern affiliates, residents also staff the Otolaryngology Service at John Stroger-Cook County Hospital. This legendary urban teaching hospital provides a case load experience typical of a major trauma center and provider of care to a large central city population with a variety of cultures.

The Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Services of the teaching hospitals are under the direction of Robert C. Kern, MD, Chairman of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Attending faculty are all members of the department, therefore teaching faculty and educational goals and policies are consistent across various hospital experiences. One of the great strengths of the Northwestern Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery training program is the broad variety of clinical pathology available for teaching and the ability of residents to work with the same faculty at different hospitals.

The training program includes a formal didactic curriculum, with additional courses in basic science, head and neck anatomy and physiology, audiology, histopathology, immunology, temporal bone dissection and anatomy, and sinus dissection and endoscopy. Individual reading programs are encouraged and ample time provided. Additional resources available at the medical school include the Galter Health Sciences Library and the Weinberg Medical Informatic Training Center. Residents are also encouraged to take advantage of the many cultural and quality-of-life opportunities in Chicago and are expected to enjoy their training years.

Research Training

The residency training program offers strong research training opportunities in the departmental research laboratories. Each resident has a four month block time of research in the PGY-3 year under the guidance of a full time Resident research Director. Residents are expected to be involved in research throughout their residency. A wide variety of research experiences are available in our research laboratories directed by prominent senior faculty. Our residents have been highly successful in obtaining peer reviewed grant funding and at presenting at national meetings.

Seminars and Lectures

Coordinated rounds with the entire resident staff are held weekly. All residents attend grand rounds held at the medical school, a monthly otologic seminar, morbidity and mortality review, and journal club. Daily teaching rounds are scheduled at each of the participating hospitals. Special clinics are conducted in facial plastic surgery, head and neck oncology, otology, and otoneurology. A unique, combined Allergy/Sinus Clinic is held at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Each year, several visiting professors provide stimulating lectures.

The Department of Otolaryngology โ€“ Head and Neck Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine holds events for faculty, residents, and fellows. See details on the individual events via the entries below.

All Grand Rounds, Didactic, COCLIA, M & M, and Journal Club sessions are held in the 13th floor Educational Conference room at the Department of Otolaryngology โ€“ Head & Neck Surgery, 676 N. St. Clair, Suite 1325.

Grand Rounds: Fridays from 6:30-8:00 am, unless otherwise noted.

Didactic: Fridays from 8:00-9:00 am, unless otherwise noted.

COCLIA: Fridays from 8:00-9:00 am, unless otherwise noted (***See Instructions below).

M & M: Last Friday of the month from 6:30-8:00 am, unless otherwise noted.

Journal Club: Thursdays from 5:30-7:00 pm, unless otherwise noted.

For more information visit The Department of Otolaryngology โ€“ Head and Neck Surgery or


Perspective view of the Feinberg-Galter Pavilion