Otolaryngology Residency Program

Welcome to the home page for the Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Residency at the University of New Mexico. We are very proud of our program and continually strive to create the best possible learning environment for our residents. Camaraderie and our sense of group purpose are the hallmarks of this residency program.

Our program has two residents pre year with no fellows, and as such, offer unparalleled opportunities for individual teaching and attention. We encourage interested medical students to join us for an away rotation. Applications accepted here for international students. Thank you for your interest in our program.

Our Mission:

  1. Provide the highest standard of care to our patients.
  2. To train and educate clinical scholars who share an interest in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and related disciplines.
  3. To conduct research to promote greater understanding of the field of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
  4. To embody academic excellence in all endeavors: clinical, educational, research and administrative.

Requirements and Benefits

Eligibility

To be eligible for a training position, a physician must be a graduate of an LCME accredited medical school in the United States or Canada or an AOA accredited osteopathic school in the United States. Graduates of international medical schools must hold a current valid ECFMG certificate, or possess a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the state of New Mexico, or have completed a Fifth Pathway program in an LCME accredited medical school. Physicians who are not U.S. citizens must have a valid work authorization on a J-1 visa. All J-1 Visas are sponsored by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. No other visas are accepted for training at UNM in Graduate Medical Education. This requirement is consistent with the AAMC guidelines for Graduate Medical Education programs. House officers who are unable to obtain initial sponsorship of a J-1 visa through the ECFMG within thirty (30) days of their start date may be released from the training program. Eligibility for training at UNM does not guarantee future eligibility for granting of an unrestricted professional license by the New Mexico Medical Board.

Requirements and Benefits

Selection

UNM sponsored programs participate in the National Residency Matching Program and other specialty matches to fill their positions. The University is an Equal Opportunity employer and makes selections based on the preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity. Programs do not discriminate with regard to sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, ancestry, or medical conditions or ACGME required status.

Additional Otolaryngology Division Requirement

Applicants must submit an application for residency through the ERAS program to the Division of Otolaryngology.

All applications to the University of New Mexico Otolaryngology training program are reviewed by the faculty. Prospective residents must attend an interview to be considered for a residency position. All positions offered for residency training will be through the ERAS matching program.

Licensure

Residents will hold a limited license to practice medicine in the state of New Mexico. After completion of your intern year, it is mandatory that you apply and take your USMLE Step 3. It is advisable to apply for a Public Service License through the New Mexico Board of Medical Examiners.

 

Professional Liability Insurance

The New Mexico Tort Claims Act regulates professional liability insurance for residents. It is provided for physicians in training in accordance with the Act. This coverage does not extend outside the training program.

Insurance

Dental insurance is available to residents and their dependents. Health insurance is provided for residents, and their dependents and qualifying domestic partners at a small cost. There is no deductible or co-payment for most services provided at the medical center. Life insurance is provided to residents at no cost. Long-term disability insurance is provided to residents at no cost.

Salary

Salary 2020-2021

  • PGY I

    • $53,898

  • PGY II

    • $55,646

  • PGY III

    • $57,671

  • PGY IV

    • $59,805

  • PGY V

    • $62,396

  • Meal card: $1350

  • OMFS Night Call: $350/night split in pool between all residents.

Meals

All residents receive a meal stipend (2020-21: $1350) via a badge-based credit system.

Leave

  • Sick leave = 21 days/year – not transferable to next year.
  • Vacation leave = 21 days/year – not transferable to next yearUsually 9 day blocks, option to split 1 week into 2 long weekends.
  • Approximately 7 additional days off during winter holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.
  • Education Leave= 5 days per year.
  • Bereavement Leave = 3 days per year.
  • Professional Leave (Interviews) = 5 days per residency.
  • Maternity and Paternity Leave = 2 weeks of leave. Additional leave may be discussed and approved by the Program Director.

Books and Loupes

A minimum allowance of four hundred and fifty dollars is provided to each otolaryngology resident per year for educational purposes.

Because many of the cases performed during residency will require loupes for adequate visualization of operative structures, the Division of Otolaryngology will pay for one set of operative loupes during training.

Curriculum

Our educational mission is realized at the bedside, in the OR, on rounds, in conferences and in seminars. A listing of rotations can be seen below. We have strived to create a schedule that provides adequate structure to insure a consistent and immersive experience for each resident but that is flexible enough to accommodate individual interests and career goals.

The hallmarks of the educational program are the ACGME core competencies, which are stressed throughout the residency experience: Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism, and Systems-Based Practice.

Curriculum

  • UNM Airway Course
  • UNM Microvascular and Robotic Surgery Course
  • Sinus Cadaver Dissection Course
  • PGY-5 residents: annual fall National Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery meeting.
  • PGY-4 residents: Michigan Ear Course, Loma Linda Sinus and Allergy Course
  • PGY-3 residents: Annual spring Combined Otolaryngology Section Meeting (COSM)
  • Other educational meetings may be attended if residents have sufficient educational leave accrued, are presenting original research and permission is granted by the program director.
  • Cameroon: Head and Neck Surgery
  • Philippines: Head and Neck Surgery
  • Ethiopia: Facial Reconstruction

Surgical procedures are performed at UNMH, SRMC and the outpatient surgery center (OSIS). Our residents are routinely in the top 10% of residency programs nationwide in terms of case numbers.

The teaching service at UNM Hospital is under the supervision of 12 board-certified otolaryngologists. The subspecialty areas represented include Head and Neck Surgery, Laryngology/Voice, Otology/Neurotology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Rhinology as well as General Otolaryngology. The resident team, under the direction of the chief resident and attending staff, rounds on and cares for all inpatients and consults on the otolaryngology service.

UNMH is a busy tertiary care hospital and the provider of choice for most complicated otolaryngology problems for the entire state and adjoining regions. Collectively, the attending cadre represents the largest group of otolaryngologists in the state and almost all of the fellowship trained sub-specialists. The referral base for the ONHS service is far and wide, stretching from Southwest Texas to Southern Colorado to Eastern Arizona. UNMH is a Level One trauma center providing ample experience in this realm. The UNM Cancer Center is also an NCI designated institution that provides fantastic support for our head and neck patients.

The main otolaryngology clinic is housed at UNMH in the ambulatory care center, with Audiology and Speech Pathology facilities and specialists on site.

There is a second otolaryngology clinic located a short drive from UNMH in the Northeast Heights. This clinic has six fully equipped exam rooms, three microscopes, two audiology sound booths, a vestibular lab with IR video ENG and platform posturography, and speech pathology with videostroboscopy. There is also a facial analysis station for cosmetic surgical consultations and hearing aid fitting services.

A new integrated Endocrine/Head and Neck clinic is opening in the fall of 2019. This clinic will provide interdisciplinary care of patients with thyroid and parathyroid disorders, and will feature integrated patient care provided by our Otolaryngology faculty in conjunction with the Endocrine and Pathology services. Features of this clinic include a fully integrated Endocrine conference similar to Head and Neck Tumor Board, as well as opportunities for training in ultrasound of the head and neck and ultrasound-guided procedures.

There are opportunities in the PGY-4 and PGY-5 years to work with local doctors in the community who specialize in high-volume facial plastic surgery and otologic surgery. This gives upper level residents flexibility to acquire subspecialty specific skills prior to fellowship and also gain familiarity with a private otolaryngology practice.

Research

Residents may choose to work with an attending on a project specific to that attending’s specialty, however residents are encouraged to pursue their research interests, including collaborative projects outside of the Department of Surgery. Residents are provided the opportunity to present their research at the yearly regional OHNS conference in Albuquerque; in addition, residents are encouraged and provided with financial support to present at other regional and national meetings. The general schedule of research is outlined below.

Work with faculty to identify research opportunities; perform background research, create research proposal for planned project(s), planning for grants/materials.

Oral presentation to division faculty on proposed research project; evaluation of project and feedback obtained. One month of protected research time to initiate project.  Resident is responsible for interval progress reports and ongoing faculty support is provided.  

Dedicated 2 months of protected research time. Preparation of data for presentation and publication.

Presentation of final progress report; this is a 20-minute presentation focusing on research process to educate and benefit other resident researchers within the division.

Completion of unfinished manuscripts and submission of completed projects for publication. Articulate plan for passing on unfinished projects to junior residents.

Facilities

This is our home base and houses our main outpatient clinics, operating rooms, inpatient wards, and faculty and resident offices. This is also where most of our educational conferences and meetings take place.

The children’s hospital is immediately adjacent to UNMH and is connected to it via an enclosed walkway. It is the only freestanding children’s hospital in the state.
This is a busy surgery center where many of our faculty perform outpatient procedures. It is located within walking distance of the main hospital.
An outpatient clinic facility located a short drive from the main hospital. Pediatric, General Otolaryngology and Rhinology clinics are held here.
This is our new state of the art facility on the west side of Albuquerque. Many outpatient surgeries and adult Otology/Neurotology cases take place here.

Conferences

Friday mornings are reserved for didactic teaching and educational conferences. No clinical activity is scheduled during this time, and attendance on the part of the attendings and residents is mandatory. Additional education time is reserved on Wednesday afternoons and residents are released from clinical activities in order to attend. Conferences held during these educational times occur on a rotating basis and include.

Conferences

On Friday mornings, house staff and faculty gather to discuss interesting cases from the inpatient services. The emphasis is on diagnostic and management issues and incorporates a strong evidence-based approach by utilizing web-based databases in real time.
Local and national experts, as well as UNM residents and attendings, give grand rounds talks on a rotating basis. Local experts and national speakers are also invited to give talks on occasion.
This conference emphasizes education by reviewing either textbooks, COCLIA (Comprehensive Otolaryngologic Curriculum Learning through Interactive Approach), SIPACS or other available educational material. Discussions are structured and guided by UNM faculty with an emphasis on active, case-based learning for the resident learners.
House staff and attendings participate in this conference, which includes report and analysis of interesting cases, adverse events, and unusual diagnoses. Patient safety and quality improvement projects and issues are discussed and addressed.
Oncology patients are discussed in this multi-disciplinary setting with Hematology-Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Dentistry, Pathology, Radiology and other involved sub-specialties. Patients are presented by residents and attendings.
A series of interactive seminars incorporating the business of medicine and the functioning of the practitioner and patient within the context of the greater medical system. Topics include billing and reimbursement, contracting, managing personal and professional finances, applying for a job and a variety of others.
This series of lectures is given every July-August and is designed to introduce new residents to the "must-know" information of the specialty. Emphasis is placed on emergency procedures and patient evaluation.
The UNM Health Sciences Center hosts a bi-monthly ethics seminar series for all residents. Topics have included “end of life” issues, physician assisted suicide, ethics of genetic testing, professionalism and a variety of other topics.
Residents and attending spend this conference with a staff pathologist reviewing normal histology, histopathology, and recent cases from the service.
Residents drill temporal bones from our ample supply. Our Neurotology/Otology faculty lead the drilling. There are currently three stations with plans to expand to six.
This conference is held every other month and led by an attending who picks the articles and topic. The conference is usually held at a local restaurant or hosted by the attending and always encourages lively discussion.

Residency Life

Why New Mexico

The University of New Mexico Hospital houses the only Level I Trauma Center in the state. UNM also features primary and subspecialty adult and pediatric care, along with an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center. We have a unique tri-cultural patient population that provides a one-of-a-kind learning experience, and strongly emphasize care for underserved and minority populations. Within our program, the nearly 2:1 attending to resident ratio ensures exceptional clinical and surgical mentoring. We provide the majority of the endoscopic otology, cleft palate & lip repair, microtia reconstruction, head and neck oncologic and reconstructive surgery, and airway reconstruction services in our region.

310 Days of Sunshine Per Year

Ethos:

The responsibility of being a new physician and the strain of work are offset by an open and supportive work environment and a strong sense of collegiality across all members of our division. Most importantly, living in New Mexico means that when not at work, residents are surrounded by a beautiful landscape with a vast array of activities available to them.

The 80-Hour Work Week:

The 80-hour work week, as set forth by ACGME, is respected and enforced in our program. We do not have in-house call. Residents are assured of at least one day off per week, and in practice, regularly have two to three full weekends off per month.

The Voice of Our Residents:

Our program is dynamic and reflects the values of our residents. Systems based meetings are held monthly and function as a forum for residents not only to express concerns, but to put forth creative ideas for expanding and improving our training experience.

Relationships with Attending Physicians:

Because of our small residency size, residents of all levels constantly interact directly with attendings. Communication is recognized as one of the most important tools for learning, and open communication between residents and attendings is emphasized and expected during training.

"Work hard, play hard"

Residents frequently meet outside the hospital to celebrate their free time together at local restaurants, sports events, and parks. Historically, we tend to attract residents who enjoy the outdoor activities that abound in this region such as rock climbing, skiing, hiking, cycling, kayaking, rafting, and fishing. New Mexico has 11 national parks and monuments in addition to many wilderness areas and close proximity to the Southern Rockies. Our temperate climate allows residents to enjoy the outdoors year-round. For those with more refined tastes, there are a variety of excellent restaurants, museums, and theaters in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. We also have access to all of the University of New Mexico sporting events, the Albuquerque Isotopes minor league baseball team, and the New Mexico United professional soccer team.