Sleep medicine clinical and surgical training during otolaryngology residency: a national survey of otolaryngology residency programs

Tianjie Shen, Erika Shimahara, Jing Cheng, Robson Capasso
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2011, 145 (6): 1043-8

OBJECTIVE: The authors sought to assess the otolaryngology residency training experiences in adult sleep medicine and sleep surgery in the United States.

STUDY DESIGN: Internet survey.

SETTING: US academic otolaryngology residency programs.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This Internet survey was emailed to the program directors of 103 US Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved otolaryngology residency programs in 2010.

RESULTS: A total of 47 program directors responded, representing 46% of programs surveyed. In 59% of these programs, there was at least 1 faculty member with clinical practice dedicated to adult medicine. Most commonly, these clinicians spent less than 50% of their clinical time on adult sleep medicine. While most otolaryngology residents were reported being well trained in commonly performed procedures such as septoplasty and uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), the training on hypopharyngeal or multilevel surgeries, such as partial glossectomy, tongue base resection, hyoid or tongue suspension, or geniotubercle advancement, was considered less frequent. The overall exposure to education regarding the interpretation of original data of laboratory-based sleep studies or portable home monitoring devices was infrequent. A significant portion of respondents indicated that they would like to expand their residents' exposure to adult sleep medicine and sleep surgery.

CONCLUSION: This survey provides a starting point to further assess the rigor of sleep medicine/sleep surgery training in US residency programs. Continued assessment and strengthening of the current curriculum are crucial to keep residents up to date with this evolving field. This result calls attention to the importance of bolstering sleep medicine and surgery curriculum to meet the academic requirements of otolaryngology training.

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