The core curriculum has been developed as a conference based format. The didactic conferences are held weekly from 7.00 am- Noon on Wednesday. Each conference is supervised by an attending faculty and led by one resident. During these conferences, a two year cycle of topics are covered. Conferences are divided equally into general subject areas: Head and Neck Surgery, Rhinology/Skull Base, Laryngology, Otology, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and General Otolaryngology. A curriculum covering all major topics within each of these areas has been constructed with selected readings from Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery texts edited by Cummings et al., Bailey et al., Glasscock et al., and material published by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery such as COCLIA. In addition, patient based learning is emphasized during the weekly didactic conferences. A resident is responsible for discussing a patient from their own clinical experience that exemplifies a major teaching point of the topic covered at each conference.
In addition to the core curriculum, a basic science curriculum has been designed to emphasize fundamentals necessary for understanding Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery. The purpose of these conferences is to reinforce the multidisciplinary basic science that underpins our specialty. These didactic sessions are offered from July until September.
Last but certainly not least is the addition of a dedicated otology curriculum. Under the guidance of Dr. Ashkan Monfared, the Center for Otolaryngology Microsurgery Education and Training (COMET) was opened on March 20, 2013. COMET is a six station state-of-the-art surgical training and simulation center for otology and lateral skull base surgery. Once a month PGY-2 through PGY-5 residents spend 3 hours on Friday afternoons practicing and perfecting basic and advanced otologic skills.
In addition to the core curriculum and basic science, additional conferences are offered on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
- Otolaryngology Grand Rounds
Otolaryngology Grand Rounds are held once a month. Both local and nationally recognized faculty are invited to present current topic. Otolaryngology Grand Rounds is organized and attended by the faculty, residents, and medical students at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Children's National Health System. Outside otolaryngology attendings will often attend.
- Head and Neck Tumor Board
Twice per month, a multi-disciplinary tumor board is attended by the faculty, residents and medical students in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Neuroradiology, Pathology, Medical Oncology, and Radiation Therapy. During this conference, all new patients with a diagnosis of head and neck carcinoma are evaluated by the members of the tumor board in a simultaneous consultation. Treatment options are discussed by each discipline. In addition, patients who are admitted into one of the organ preservation protocols return at the completion of each stage of therapy to assess response and to determine the recommended next step in treatment. Over 100 patients have been enrolled into one of the organ preservation protocols.
- Morbidity and Mortality
Once a month, all morbidities and mortalities from the three major teaching facilities are reviewed. The resident most involved in the care of the patient with a complication is responsible for presentation of the complication. The resident will present the clinical situation in which the complication occurred including co-morbid disease. The resident should discuss critical decision making that was associated with this complication including appropriate management of the complication.
- Head and Neck Pathology Conference
Once a month, the surgical pathology of all head and neck tumor specimens are reviewed. The conference is attended by the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery faculty, residents, and medical students. The pathology is presented by the Surgical Pathology Faculty. Critical diagnostic features are reviewed.
- Neuroradiology Conference
Once a month, images of head and neck cases are reviewed. The conference is attended by the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery faculty, residents, and medical students. The radiology is presented by the Neuroradiology Faculty. Critical diagnostic features are reviewed.
- Endocrine Conference
On a quarterly basis, the faculty, residents, and medical students from the Divisions of Otolaryngology and Endocrinology will hold a multi-specialty endocrine conference to enhance patient based learning in the area of endocrine disease of the head and neck. Otolaryngology residents and endocrinology fellows are responsible for identifying patients seen in consultation for the evaluation and management of thyroid and parathyroid disease at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The residents will be responsible for presenting the patient's history and physical examination, reviewing pertinent radiological studies, and discussing treatment options. Both pre-operative and post-operative evaluations will be reviewed. Critical thinking of treatment options will be emphasized.
- Attending Rounds
Once a month, the attending of the day will lead socratic rounds based on a clincal case in his or her specialty. Residents are expected to prepare for the case and will run through the cases like oral boards. Clinical skills and reasoning will be developed in this formal yet intimate session.