Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship

Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Fellowship

The Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Fellowship is a one-year clinical experience for physicians interested in specialized pediatric otolaryngology-head and neck surgical procedures. The Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Fellowship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and is offered through the San Francisco (SF) Match Program. Further information on our fellowship is also available from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO).

This fellowship has additional research and degree opportunities at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Fellows participate in research through the Vanderbilt Surgical Outcomes Center for Kids (SOCKs), which focuses on developing and improving clinical outcomes in Pediatric Surgical Sciences. Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery fellows also have global outreach opportunities throughout the program.

  • The Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Fellowship covers all aspects of pediatric clinical care, including:

    • Cleft lip/palate
    • Vascular anomalies
    • Velopharyngeal Insufficiency surgery
    • Airway reconstruction and laryngeal reinnervation
    • Laser therapies
    • Congenital and chronic ear disease including cochlear implantation
    • Sinus surgery
    • Thyroid and head and neck masses
    • Anterior skull base surgeries (Cerebrospinal Fluid leaks, encephaloceles, angiofibromas)
    • Refractory Obstructive Sleep Apnea interventions, including hypoglossal nerve stimulation

    In addition, fellows are also exposed to complex airway reconstruction in adults through Dr. Wootten's appointment in the Complex Airway Reconstruction Program.

    This advanced training program allows fellows to customize their experiences to meet personal goals. The first year of the fellowship is clinical, with an optional second year encouraged. In this second year, fellows may elect one of four options:

    The appointment level would be that of fellow (PGY-6) with operative privileges.

    The operative experience is vast and unrivaled in its breadth. Cases include cleft lip/palate repair and VPI surgery, microtia and aural atresia repair, vascular malformations, open and endoscopic airway reconstructions, chronic ear disease, cochlear implantation, sinus surgery and benign or malignant masses of the head and neck. Opportunities to participate in international mission work are available as well.

    Responsibilities in the OR and clinic include:

    • supervision of residents
    • management of inpatient consultations
    • participation in the call schedule
    • involvement in a number of multidisciplinary conferences (complex aerodigestive and sleep disorders, vascular malformations, VPI/clefts, cochlear implant).

    It is expected that the fellow will complete at least one publication-quality project in each fellowship year. The fellow must obtain up-to-date IRB training that includes responsible conduct of research. The faculty will help the fellow identify a critical gap in the pediatric ENT literature and propose a hypothesis-driven research project. The faculty member will assist the fellow in a formal literature search, create a data retrieval form (if a retrospective study), and design any prospective study component. Together the fellow and faculty member will write the IRB protocol and obtain approval. The fellow will perform the data analysis, with faculty supervision, hopefully leading to a research presentation at a national meeting. It will be the fellow's responsibility to write the manuscript, with faculty guidance.

    Prior to fellowship commencement, each fellow will receive a calendar of duties, expectations, and assignments. There will be a specific clinic, OR, and lecture schedule to which the fellow will adhere. Expectations, as outlined to the fellow, will describe the competencies in pediatric otolaryngology necessary to complete the fellowship. Specifically, the fellow will be provided with a hard copy and an electronic copy of the expected patient care, medical knowledge, professionalism, practice-based learning, interpersonal skills, and system-based practice requirements.

  • Applicants interested in the Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship must meet the following requirements:

    • Physician currently in or has completed an OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery residency program.
      • Program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
      • If in Canada, the applicant must have successfully completed an Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency program accredited by the RCPSC (Pediatric Otolaryngology Program Requirements III.A.).
      • ECFMG certification is required for International Medical Graduates who come to Vanderbilt for clinical training. ECFMG is an authorized agency to sponsor a J-1 visa. For the purpose of residency/fellowship training, Vanderbilt accepts J-1 visas only.
    • A valid full (not training) Tennessee medical license is required at the start of the fellowship.

    Applications must be submitted through SF Match Residency and Fellowship Matching Services. We also require three letters of recommendation and your current CV.

  • The primary reference used in our didactic sessions will be Pediatric Otolaryngology by Bluestone and Stool. A copy of this text is available the fellow workspace, and it is also available online through the Eskind Biomedical Library (EBL). The EBL is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additional books will be available in faculty offices. Articles for the monthly journal clubs will be available through the medical library.

    Fellows are encouraged to perform literature searches through the EBL. Online courses are available for IRB training. Each fellow will be expected to complete a publication-worthy project at the completion of training. Our electronic medical record system is well positioned to perform patient data analysis for chart reviews. There are weekly statistical clinics in the medical center complex where fellows may seek statistical assistance.

    Each week fellows will be provided with a minimum of a half day for academic duties. The clinical volume is sufficient to meet fellows' needs. The primary pediatric attendings will see an average of 10,000 outpatients and perform more than 2,500 surgeries annually, with other department members managing another 700 cases.

  • Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt opened in 2004. U.S. News and World Report has repeatedly ranked Children's Hospital in 10 out of 10 pediatric specialties. The Pediatric Otolaryngology clinic within the hospital opened in December 2009.

    Ancillary services are world-class. The Department of Speech & Hearing and its Division of Audiology are among the top in the nation. Radiology, Pathology and Anesthesia services work closely with OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery to ensure optimal patient care. There is a very congenial atmosphere within the department as well as between disciplines.

  • 1. Each attending physician and selected hospital staff member completes a quarterly evaluation of the fellow. The program director reviews these evaluations and discusses them with the fellow at the biannual evaluation.

    2. Twice a year, the fellow has a mandatory conference with the program director for evaluation and review of operative case logs. The fellow will also provide an assessment of the program. Discussion will cover the above topics as well as future plans and goals.

    3. Attendance at teaching conferences is mandatory. The full-time faculty will systematically evaluate participation consistency and quality. The fellow will receive feedback in this area at the biannual evaluations.

    4. The full-time faculty will also systematically review participation consistency and quality in patient rounds and scrubbed-in operating room attendance. The fellow will receive feedback in this area at the biannual evaluations.

    5. Each fellow must accurately complete and submit a summary of operative experience in December and June. The chairman and program director review this report biannually.

    6. Residents are expected to complete annual faculty assessments. The program director and chairman review these results. Each faculty member receives a summary report to discuss results with the fellow.

    7. Resident program and faculty evaluations are critical to the teaching program's continued improvement, and are taken seriously. These evaluations are usually anonymous, but may be done in person if desired. The program director is also always immediately available should there be any professional or personal problems that need immediate attention.

  • Vanderbilt Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery fellows become leaders in the field, both in academic and clinical settings. Current and past fellows include:

    • 2010-2011: Beth Williamson, MD (Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX)

    • 2011-2012: Siva Chinnadurai, MD, MPH (Children’s Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN)

    • 2012-2013: Noel Jabbour, MD, MS (University of Pittsburgh, Fellowship Director of Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Pittsburgh, PA)

    • 2013-2014: David Crockett, MD (Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, AZ)

    • 2014-2015: Lourdes Quintanilla-Dieck, MD (Oregon Health & Science University, Pediatric Otolaryngology Division, Portland, OR; Co-Director of the Multidisciplinary Pediatric Thyroid Nodule Clinic at Doernbecher Children's Hospital)

    • 2015-2016: Adrienne Childers, MB, MBA (Saint Louis University, Pediatric Otolaryngology Division, St. Louis, MO)

    • 2016-2017: Alexis Korostoff Rieber, MD (Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, CA)

    • 2017-2018: Alycia Spinner, MD (University of Nevada Las Vegas, Pediatric Otolaryngology Division, Las Vegas, NV)

    • 2018-2019: Ryan Belcher, MD (Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN; Vanderbilt Cleft and Craniofacial Team; Surgery Co-director, Vanderbilt Children’s Pediatric Thyroid Nodule and Cancer Program)

    • 2019-2020: Peter Karempelis, MD (Pediatric Ear, Nose, & Throat Specialists, Petersburg, FL; also affiliated with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL)

    • 2020-2021: Heather Koehn, MD 

    • 2021-2022: Elizabeth Grier Gardner De Laureal, MD

  • 2019-2020 fellow Peter Karempelis with Frank Virgin and Ryan Belcher outside the Vanderbilt Children's-sponsored Moore Pediatric Surgery Center, Guatemala City
  • Ryan Belcher performing cleft lip and palate surgery in Kijabe, Kenya
  • 2020-2021 fellow Heather Koehn operates with James Phillips
  • 2013-2014 fellow Noel Jabbour
  • 2018-2019 fellow Ryan Belcher interpreting a CT in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • 2014-2015 fellow Lourdes Quintanilla-Dieck at graduation