The Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery is one of the most comprehensive otolaryngology departments in the world. Founded in 1922, it is among the oldest in the United States. U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked the department's program among the top 10 in the nation.

The department's chief focus areas are education and training, patient care, and research. M.D. students in the Carver College of Medicine, residents, and fellows benefit from a faculty dedicated to providing thorough training in all aspects of otolaryngology and patient care. Patients in the otolaryngology clinic enjoy access to comprehensive care in any of five subspecialties: pediatric otolaryngology, otology/neurotology, general otolaryngology and rhinology, head and neck oncology, and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. University of Iowa faculty members from ophthalmology and visual sciences and radiation oncology hold joint appointments in otolaryngology, adding depth to the department's resources.

The department is home to prominent research programs in cleft palate and other craniofacial defects, head and neck oncology, cochlear implants, and molecular genetics. It also offers fellowships in otology/neurotology, pediatric otolaryngology, and head and neck oncology.

The department is located at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Dr. Scott Owen talking to a patient in the Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery Clinic.


The Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery offers a two-year fellowship in otology/neurotology and a one-year fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology, which are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. It also offers a one-year fellowship in head and neck oncology accredited by the Advanced Training Council of the American Head and Neck Society.

The otology/neurotology fellowship program accepts one applicant every two years. Otology fellows spend a minimum of 20 months in clinical service. They attend all otology/neurotology clinics and neurotology cases in the operating room and are responsible for inpatient service. They also have one day of dedicated research time each week.

The pediatric otolaryngology fellowship program accepts one applicant each year. Fellows spend a year in clinical service, where they have the opportunity to train with all pediatric otolaryngology faculty members.

One applicant is accepted as a head and neck oncology fellow each year. Training is largely clinical, allowing fellows the opportunity to participate in a variety of procedures, ranging from skull base resection to laryngeal rehabilitation. Fellows routinely perform 35 to 45 free-tissue transfers during one year of training. They also complete a clinical and/or basic science research project relating to head and neck oncology.

The Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery offers a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The program has two tracks: a five-year clinical track and a seven-year research track. Five applicants are accepted each year, three to the clinical track and two to the research track.

The clinical track provides five years of concentrated clinical study and application in all aspects of otolaryngology. Residents begin their training with a five-week intensive basic science course divided into an anatomy component and a 100-hour lecture series. The anatomy component includes a supervised cadaver dissection, and the lecture series details the study of otolaryngology and related disciplines. Residents also complete two research rotations in order to explore research areas that interest them.

The research track is a combined clinical-research program designed for residents interested in an otolaryngology research career. After an internship year, residents complete two years of research followed by four years of clinical training. The interaction of clinicians and basic scientists from several departments affords residents the opportunity for involvement in a wide spectrum of current research in areas such as electrophysiology of the auditory system, the genetics of head and neck cancer, and gene therapy.

Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Courses

OTO:8199 Foundations of Otolaryngology arr.

Supervised cadaver head and neck dissection, with 14 areas in detail. Two weeks.

OTO:8301 Clinical Otolaryngology 2 s.h.

OTO:8401 Subinternship in Otolaryngology arr.

OTO:8402 Advanced Otolaryngology 4 s.h.

Students become proficient in physical examination of the head and neck; increase their ability to diagnose, evaluate, and manage common disorders of the ears, nose, and throat; and work in outpatient clinic, on inpatient services, and in operating room.

OTO:8497 Research in Otolaryngology arr.

Medical research, clinical or laboratory projects; individual study.

OTO:8498 Otolaryngology On Campus arr.

OTO:8499 Otolaryngology Off Campus arr.

Arranged by student with department approval.