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College of
Health Sciences


Goals and objectives

The goal of this block is to give you a more in-depth exposure to otolaryngology. This area draws fourth-year medical students interested in entering the field of otolaryngology as well as those who plan to pursue other specialties but wish to further their basic understanding of ours. The Otolaryngology Department at Geisinger Medical Center welcomes both types of students, and our faculty will do its utmost to maximize your educational experience as is relevant to your career goals.

You’ll gain further experience in this specialty while also integrating with and participating in the team approach to patient care. 

  • Basic expectations for fourth-year students include the following:
  • Punctual attendance at morning and evening rounds with the resident team and active participation in the care of inpatients
  • Active evaluation of patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting, under supervision of residents and faculty
  • Increased exposure to a variety of ENT cases in the operating room and the opportunity to assist, when appropriate and commensurate with the performance level of a fourth-year medical student sub-intern.

Participation, expectations of performance and grading

Our department uses the ACGME Residency Review Committee Guidelines for General Competencies in Medical Education as a basis for student evaluations. Since the clinical rotation is a part of developing clinical competency and in transitioning to residency training, we’ve incorporated these competencies in assessing performance (listed below, quoted from the ACGME):

  • Patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health programs and the promotion of health
  • Medical knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical and cognate sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care
  • Practice-based learning and improvement that involves the investigation and evaluation of care for their patients, the appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence and improvements in patient care
  • Interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families and other health professionals
  • Professionalism, as manifested through a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to patients of diverse backgrounds
  • Systems-based practice, as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of healthcare, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal healthcare

Because not every fourth-year student has had the same clinical exposure to otolaryngology you are not expected to be expert in the field. Residents and attendings will expect you to demonstrate a willingness to learn, to be involved in patient care and to show an increased knowledge of otolaryngology at the completion of the rotation.

  • Clinic: You’ll initially participate in clinic by shadowing a senior resident and then by seeing uncomplicated patients on your own. You’ll present your findings to an otolaryngology resident and then together to the clinic attending. The residents/attendings will indicate if you should present to the attendings directly.
  • Operative experience: To gain optimal experience in the operating room, you’ll be expected to read the patient’s chart prior to the day of surgery. You’re also expected to have reviewed and be able to demonstrate knowledge of the pertinent anatomy for a given procedure. Follow your surgical patients during their hospital stay to better understand patient care and disease processes.
  • Resident conference presentations: During the rotation, you’ll present an otolaryngology topic in morning conference. Ideally, the topic will be directly related to a patient case with which you’re involved while on service.

Apply now

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Acceptance into the elective is by application only.

All applications must be submitted through Visiting Student Learning Opportunities™ (VSLO®).

Contact us

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Megan Longenberger 
Program Manager, Health Professions Education
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