Program Structure

Comprehensive, hands-on learning

In our five-year training program, residents rotate through four to twelve weeks in various subspecialties of Otolaryngology─Head and Neck Surgery as well as related fields on other services. 

Our residency program is structured in a competency-based medical education format in four phases:

Transition to Discipline

This one-month introduction to the discipline of Otolaryngology─Head and Neck Surgery is divided between orientation on the home service and a Surgical Foundations boot-camp that all surgical residents at Dalhousie University take. In this rotation, you will gain essential skills for success in a surgical residency training program.

Foundations of Otolaryngology

This approximately 17-month phase is co-managed by our program and the Dalhousie Surgical Foundations program. For our residents, the section is divided between off-service rotations and core rotations on the Otolaryngology─Head and Neck Surgery Service, followed by the RCPSC Surgical Foundations Exam. You will experience:

  • subspecialties of otolaryngology─head and neck surgery
  • emergency medicine
  • general and thoracic surgery
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • neurosurgery
  • plastics and reconstructive surgery
  • critical care

Core Otolaryngology─Head and Neck Surgery

When you finish this 36-month portion of our training program, you will be prepared to challenge the RCPSC examination in Otolaryngology─Head and Neck Surgery. Core otolaryngology involves rotations in:

  • General Otolaryngology (including community-based otolaryngology)
  • Head and Neck Surgery
  • Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Pediatric Otolaryngology
  • Otology/Neurotology
  • Rhinology
  • Laryngology
  • elective experiences

Transition to Practice

During this six-month portion of the program, you will seek to solidify all aspects of Otolaryngology─Head and Neck Surgery practice to prepare for independent practice.


Additional training experiences

Throughout our training program, you will have access to numerous other educational experiences to enhance your training, including:

  • a robust weekly academic half-day program, where you will receive educational content related to our specialty through both self-learning and didactic content from surgeons in the program, other physicians and other health professionals 
  • an extensive research program in otolaryngology─head and neck surgery
  • the annual Division of Otolaryngology Research Day, where you and other learners present their research projects
  • a visiting speaker program, with invited guests from across the world who deliver lectures to the staff and residents at least twice per year
  • weekly grand rounds
  • journal clubs (six times per year)
  • cadaveric surgery training in our temporal bone dissection lab as well as the Dalhousie Surgical Skills Centre
  • generous educational allowances (both in time and funding) to attend courses and conferences throughout North America, including mandatory courses on temporal bone dissection and endoscopic sinus surgery and
  • extensive preparatory sessions for the RSCPS examination