Welcome from the Director

Welcome to the Wake Forest School of Medicine Otolaryngology residency training program. I hope that the content of this website gives you valuable insight into the substance of our training program.

Brian William Downs, MD

We have been training residents in our specialty since 1947. Our program is diverse and comprehensive. Having multiple faculty who are fellowship-trained in all of the major specialties within our field allows us to expose and train our residents to the full spectrum of Otolaryngology.   We take three residents per year and with a matching number of faculty, our residents receive superb training and mentorship through abundant one-on-one interactions with faculty with a keen interest in teaching.

Our program complies with requirements set forth by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery with a PGY1 year, which includes the required clinical rotations, followed by 48 months of training in our field. Graduating residents finish with one of the best extensive surgical experiences in the country and extensive exposure to inpatient clinical care.  Our residents receive an unusually comprehensive experience with the longitudinal care of outpatients that cannot be matched by many programs in the country.  This is made possible by a very rare opportunity that we have intentionally preserved in our program by having outpatient clinics that allow our residents to care for their own patients for over three years in an uninterrupted fashion.  This includes the entire spectrum of care including initial evaluation, intervention, and follow-up.  

Comprehensive Otolaryngology Training

The training program is centered around the main academic teaching hospital, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and Brenner Children’s Hospital, which is on the same campus. Our Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of 51 cancer centers in the nation designated as “comprehensive” by the National Cancer Institute. Outpatient clinics are located in the main hospital, in the Comprehensive Cancer Center (attached to the main medical campus), Medical Plaza - Miller (formerly CompRehab Plaza - a block from the main medical campus), and in Clemmons (about five miles from the main medical campus).

Being the only major academic Otolaryngology practice in the western half of North Carolina, we have a tremendous geographic catch area, which also includes a significant part of western Virginia, the southern part of West Virginia, and parts of South Carolina and Tennessee. This allows for a steady stream of patients with the widest array of pathologies, giving our residents exposure and forming the basis of their clinical training.

Our overriding goal is to train residents to be competent, capable, and compassionate care providers who are ready to pursue the career path of their choosing.  Our residents are highly sought after to take roles in private practice and academic medicine throughout the country.  Our graduating residents have great success in securing world-class fellowship training opportunities in every field of Otolaryngology.  We couldn’t be more proud of our residents.  It is our privilege and duty as a department to wholeheartedly support the aspirations of our trainees and we are proud of the legacy they have provided for our program.

Brian Downs, MD
Associate Professor
Residency Program Director