Medical Students

Medical Students

Vanderbilt Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery plays an active role in fostering the clinical skills, professional relationships, and hands-on experience for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine students and visiting students. Our goal is to give medical students the opportunity to learn about the field of Otolaryngology from industry leaders, as well as participate in clinics, patient care, and surgeries. The goal of the program is to give each student solid knowledge of Otolaryngology that can either be incorporated into a career in Otolaryngology or as an essential building block in the medical student's education.

If you have any questions, please contact Leah Farris, medical student clerkship coordinator:

  • Medical students from other institutions interested in the Vanderbilt Visiting Student Program must apply through the Visiting Student Program Manager and Visiting International Student Program. Applications are available at Visiting Student Learning Opportunities Application Service (VSLO). For the 2022-2023 academic year, VUSM will receive applications beginning March 15, and the first possible visiting student rotation will be in June 2022.

    Students interested in 4th-year electives at VUSM should send an inquiry to For more information, please visit Vanderbilt Visiting Medical Students.

  • As medical students grow as professionals, their responsibilities also grow - and Vanderbilt Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery is honored to be a part of the journey. The medical students rotate through Otolaryngology on the following schedule:

    • VUSM MS1 (first-year medical students)
      • Continuity care clinic (CCX) that includes all specialties, including Otolaryngology.
    • VUSM MS2 (second-year medical students)
      • Two-week sub-specialty block in Otolaryngology during Surgery Clerkship.
    • VUSM MS3 and MS4, Visiting Medical Students MS3 and MS4 (third- and fourth-year medical students)
      • Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE) four-week program
    • VUSM Careers in Medicine (CiM)
      • Medical students are encouraged to participate in CiM, a one-to-two week clinical rotation that is available to students of all years. Medical students can select Otolaryngology as a part of this program, or narrow their focus into an Otolaryngology sub-specialty. VUSM MS2 students can use CiM as their two-week elective.


  • Third- and fourth-year medical students are invited to apply for the Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE) elective. This four-week program focuses on giving students interested in Otolaryngology a cross-section of clinical experience, operating room participation, and rounding with the team twice a day at the hospital.

    ACE students rotate through Otolaryngology sub-specialties, including:

    • Head and Neck
    • Neurotology
    • Pediatrics
    • General Otolaryngology

    The ACE program gives students significant exposure to Vanderbilt Otolaryngology faculty and residents, helping to build relationships and learn from some of the best Otolaryngologists in the country. At the end of their ACE rotation, each student gives a five-to-ten-minute presentation during a resident teaching conference. This presentation is typically attended by at least one member of the Vanderbilt Otolaryngology faculty, as well as the Chief Residents and additional residents on service at the time.

    Vanderbilt students interested in learning more about applying for the ACE program during their third and fourth-year selections should review the Immersion Courses or contact the Office of Enrollment Services. The ACE program is an option for current Vanderbilt medical students, as well as visiting students with an interest in Otolaryngology.

    For the 2018-2019 academic year, Vanderbilt Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery welcomed the following ACE participants:

    • Vanderbilt students: 5
    • Meharry students: 1
    • Visiting US students: 33
    • Visiting international students: 1
  • Star Oto

    STAR OTO: Short Talks by Aspiring Residents in Otolaryngology was created in 2020 by Brandon Esianor and Madelyn Stevens to showcase medical student talent asynchronously and allow for mentorship and scholarship. Learn more at their website.

    Read more about this and other virtual educational innovations at: Landeen KC, Esianor B, Stevens MN, Fernando S, Merriam J, Kreth K, Whigham AS, Haynes D, Eavey R. Online Otolaryngology: A Comprehensive Model for Medical Student Engagement in the Virtual Era and Beyond. Ear Nose Throat J. 2021 Jul 5:1455613211029748. doi: 10.1177/01455613211029748. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34218707