After completing an American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOto)-compliant postgraduate year (PGY)-1 year of training, otolaryngology residents at Wake Forest School of Medicine spend the following four years gaining comprehensive inpatient training, outpatient training and research experience.

Clinical Rotations

Inpatient Clinical Training

The entire inpatient experience is gained at the main teaching hospital, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, an 885-bed Level I trauma center that serves as the major academic referral hospital for the western half of North Carolina and surrounding regions. Brenner Children’s Hospital occupies an attached tower on the main medical campus.

Within these facilities, there are:

  • Separate adult and pediatric emergency departments
  • A large surgical suite with 40 operating rooms (including adult inpatient, adult outpatient and pediatric operating areas)
  • Multiple subspecialty intensive care units
  • Adult day hospital
  • Numerous inpatient units

Having all clinical experience on one campus has distinct advantages. Residents can easily participate in the departmental academic curriculum. They get to know each other very well, as they see each other every day, eat meals together and round together. In addition, since the number of faculty is roughly the same as the number of residents, there is ample time for one-on-one interaction between them.


An important part of our residents’ training is learning basic research concepts and contributing original research. Faculty and residents collaborate in both clinical and basic science research.

Residents have four months of dedicated research time:

  • One month during PGY-2 is spent organizing at least one research activity, presenting a research prospectus to the otolaryngology department and beginning the process of writing an internal review board application
  • Two months during PGY-3 are spent doing the majority of the data acquisition and assimilation and moving projects to completion
  • An additional month during PGY-4 is spent bringing open research projects to a close. Residents are required to submit a research project for presentation at any national meeting that they are scheduled to attend

Conferences and Didactics

To lay the groundwork for clinical and research exposure, the department maintains a comprehensive lecture and conference curriculum for the ongoing education of residents and faculty, which includes:

  • Faculty lectures
  • Wednesday morning conferences
  • Temporal bone lab
  • Comprehensive Otolaryngologic Curriculum, Learning through Interactive Approach (COCLIA) and Bailey’s readings
  • Audiology, speech and pathology lectures
  • Journal clubs
  • Clinical conferences
  • National and regional meetings