Drexel University

Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Pathway

Curriculum through Class of 2019 only. For students graduating Class of 2020 and beyond, please see new curriculum link.

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MUST READ FOR PATHWAY 2018-2019: Otolaryngology Pathway Breakout Handout 2018-2019



The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery constructed this pathway to assist students who are considering a career within the surgical specialty of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The goals of the pathway are preparation of the student to proceed with further training within the specialty while obtaining a broad educational experience during the fourth year. The pathway provides a set of curriculum recommendations and a faculty advisory system designed to offer structure to the fourth year while maintaining flexibility for the individual needs, strengths and interests of students. The clinical experience within the pathway builds upon the sound platform of clinical skills and didactics presented in the previous medical school years to offer a challenging, productive and rewarding educational experience.

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Sites and Personnel

Pathway Director:

Drexel University College of Medicine
Robert Sataloff, M.D., D.M.A., F.A.C.S.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Academic Specialties
Drexel University College of Medicine
219 North Broad Street, 10th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 790-5165 Phone
(215) 545-3374 Fax
e-mail: RTSataloff@PhillyENT.com

Debbie Westergon - Administrative Contact

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Description of Pathway

School-wide Requirements
All students will fulfill the school-wide requirements of the fourth year by successfully completing one the required four-week rotation in Internal Medicine and the required rotation in Neurology. These rotations must be taken at a DUCOM affiliated hospital. No more than three electives may be taken outside the DUCOM system, and all Away Strongly Recommended electives must be at accredited academic medical centers with residency/fellowship programs in the field of the elective. No more than three rotations may be taken within one specialty.

Required Rotation in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
The student will be required to complete a four-week elective in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This elective will be centered at the Drexel University core teaching hospital in Philadelphia, including time on the service of the Department Chairman and the Pathway Director. This rotation will provide students with an intense clinical experience in the specialty and allow time for mentoring by faculty. As Otolaryngology is an early match, students will be encouraged to complete this elective early in the fourth year. No more than four students may take this elective during a specific block.

Strongly Recommended Elective - Surgical (Select One)
Students will select one four-week elective from a menu (See Menu A) of surgically-related areas. This elective may be taken at Home or at an Away site. These electives are designed to further prepare a student for a surgical residency and career while not excessively limiting the fourth-year experience to otolaryngology electives.

Menu A
Emergency Medicine
General Surgery
Plastic Surgery
Surgical Pathology
Surgical Trauma and Intensive Care

Strongly Recommended Elective - Non-Surgical (Select Two)
Students will select two non-surgical electives (See Menu B) from a broad menu of areas related to, but not exclusive to, the specialty of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. As Otolaryngology is intimately related with numerous other specialties, these electives provide the student with training in interdisciplinary communication and medical care. These electives may be taken at a Home or an Away site. Electives which are contained in both Menu A and Menu B may be applied toward either the surgical or non-surgical requirement, but not both.

Menu B
Allergy and Immunology
Emergency Medicine
Gastrointestinal Medicine
Medical Genetics
Medical Intensive Care
Medical Oncology
Pulmonary Medicine
Radiation Therapy and Oncology

Free Electives
The remaining three electives in the fourth-year will be free electives. These will be of the student's choosing: no defined Menu is presented. Such electives may be Home or Away and fulfill the previously described general requirements.

Students may use this time to arrange an Away elective in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in preparation for residency matching. Such an elective will not be mandatory for all students in the Pathway, but it may be encouraged highly for some students depending on individual circumstances. A second away elective in Otolaryngology may be allowed with the free electives under extraordinary circumstances and will be otherwise discouraged. All Away electives within the specialty will be discussed thoroughky in advance with the Pathway Director and other pertinent advisors to maximize this experience.

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Textbooks and Learning Resources

The primary learning resource for the Otolaryngology elective will be the clinical experience as well as the personal interactions with the faculty, residents and staff within the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This experience will be augmented with a suggested reading list and recommended readings directed at specific cases which the student encounters, as well as internet-based lectures, and weekly didactic conferences. Students will follow patients on the floors, make daily presentations and be included in the monthly Head and Neck Journal Club. Participation in research and publication will be encouraged.

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Evaluation of Student Performance
Student evaluations will be completed using the standard evaluation forms utilized by the University. Student performance on away rotations will be evaluated using the same forms completed by faculty members at the involved institution. Evaluation of the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery elective at the Home institution will be furnished by the Pathway Director after collating the evaluation forms from involved faculty members and residents as well as verbal communication with involved Otolaryngology staff members. A formal test examination will be given. A summary of the evaluation will usually be discussed with the student during a formal feedback session at the completion of the elective. The Program Director will also discuss the performance of the student in other electives on a longitudinal basis so that the student may have ongoing feedback of his/her weaknesses and evolving strengths throughout the fourth-year.

Evaluation of the Pathway by the Student
Ongoing evaluation of the Clinical Pathway by the student will be critical to the success of the system. At the completion of each rotation, students will evaluate the rotation using standardized forms. This will include evaluation of the teaching faculty, residents, support staff and clinical experiences for the student during the rotation. This information will be considered by the Program Director, along with student feedback from the formal session following the Otolaryngology elective and feedback sessions during the pathway. Specific evaluation forms will be completed by students at the completion of the Pathway to assess the strengths and shortcomings.


Faculty Advisement
Faculty guidance and mentoring will occur longitudinally as students prepare for a career in Otolaryngology. Each student will work closely with the Pathway Director in structuring the specifics of his/her fourth year experience. Other faculty members within the Department also will be available to serve in an advisory capacity. An educational experience will be constructed which builds upon the student's strengths and addresses weaknesses as s/he prepare to enter the residency matching process. The pathway is intended as a dynamic resource for student education and will be keenly responsive to evaluation and feedback.

Faculty Curriculum Committee
The faculty curriculum committee will consist of the Pathway Director, Pathway coordinator, Department Chairman and an additional member of the Otolaryngology Department. This team will carry out ongoing evaluation of the pathway and make recommendations for amendments to the original curriculum and Pathway design.

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The provisions of The Student Handbook of Drexel University College of Medicine are not to be regarded as a contract between any student and the College of Medicine. The College of Medicine may, at any time, change any provisions, curriculum requirements, teaching facilities, affiliated teaching sites and/or amenities, bylaws, rules, regulations and policies as may be necessary in the interest of the University, DUCOM, and its students.

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Revised 10/02/2017 -- Specific questions or comments about the content of this page may be directed to the Division of Clinical Education