Ohio State University
The otolaryngology residency program at Ohio State University includes multiple levels of mentorship. PGY-1 residents are assigned to PGY-3 mentors for two years to help guide them through the process of becoming a resident physician and navigating the first two years of training. Every resident also selects a research mentor, who may be a clinical physician or PhD researcher who assists them with their research projects and rotations. In addition, each PGY-1 resident is provided with a faculty mentor when they start their residency training.
Explore This IssueSeptember 2021
“This is meant to be a Big Sister/Big Brother type of experience, where the faculty mentor and resident mentee meet outside of the hospital on a quarterly basis and discuss various topics that relate to life in medicine and building a clinical and academic career,” said Brad deSilva, MD, director of the university’s residency program and vice-chair for education in the department of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. According to Dr. deSilva, who’s also the laryngology fellowship director at Ohio State University, every resident during the past 10 years who has sought a fellowship has been able to achieve a fellowship position in the field they have chosen.
Dr. deSilva explained that residents have support from day one to help them navigate the challenging process of residency training. Thanks to the mentorship program, the residents are more successful at creating work–life balance and building strong academic careers. From a leadership and research standpoint, these mentorship relationships are most beneficial in helping the residents achieve the fellowship match or future employment opportunity they desire.
Dr. deSilva said the program takes effort from both faculty and residents, and it requires dedicated faculty who are engaged in teaching and mentorship. He noted that evaluating faculty engagement is the first step, prior to creating relationships and mentorship pairings. “An engaged faculty member is a true asset to helping the resident physician reach their full potential,” he said.
Research on residents and their futures has validated the need for strong, targeted mentorship, particularly in terms of gender and diversity equity.
In a study published online in July 2021 in Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, Madeline Goosmann, MD, PGY-2 otolaryngology–head and neck surgery resident at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and her colleagues looked at the importance of female career and research mentors, co-residents, and program directors/chairs to current female otolaryngology residents when applying to residency (Ear Nose Throat J; doi:10.1177/01455613211029805).