Dr. Gray also believes in the impact of local solutions. “One of our head and neck surgeons, Dan Deschler, MD, partnered with the school to form an interest group for first-year students, working with residents, hosting dinner meetings, and showing videos of what we do. It made a real difference; we’re seeing more sub-interns interested in applying to otolaryngology.”
Explore this issue:June 2018
OPDO, in conjunction with the Academic Deans Association, has crafted a position statement to be sent this year to all medical school deans and advisors. “We want to reach out to make sure that they continue to see otolaryngology as an excellent field for their students to enter,” said Dr. Gray.
Dr. Schaitkin has suggested creating a national medical student otolaryngology curriculum through OPDO to offer to the medical schools, adding that this would increase expertise and heighten awareness of otolaryngology earlier in the education process. “We would come up with a curriculum and then ask every residency program in the country to provide one lecture on one of those topics,” he explained. He’s also requesting institutional review board approval for a survey that would gather data from match participants on their decisions about going—or not going—into otolaryngology.
Even with the downward trend, Dr. Chang remains optimistic. “Ninety-five percent of our spots matched, which is still really good,” he said. “I do think it’s an opportunity for us to soul search a little more about how we present ourselves, and who we look at as suitable candidates.”
Amy E. Hamaker is a freelance medical writer based in California.