Program Overview: The Head and Neck Fellowship program at the University of Utah provides advanced clinical training in head and neck oncologic and reconstructive surgery.
1. To provide exceptional clinical training in advanced head and neck ablative and reconstructive surgery
2. To provide training in the multidisciplinary management of head and neck cancers
3. To provide research mentorship tailored to the fellow’s clinical and research interests. Research strengths include population/outcomes research and clinical trials.
Strengths: The Head and Neck Cancer Program is based at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center located in Salt Lake City at the main health campus of the University of Utah. The program is a tertiary referral center for the Intermountain West, encompassing one of the largest geographic areas of service of any academic medical center in the US. As such, the program provides well-rounded exposure to all areas of head and neck pathology.
Our busy clinical program evaluates approximately 1000 new head and neck cancer patients per year, with an average of 800 surgical cases. Large clinical volumes of oral cavity, skin, and endocrine cancers are a strength of the program. The group performs an average of 120 microvascular free flaps, 250 thyroid and parathyroid, 65 TORS, 100 paranasal sinus and skull base, 180 melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer, and 70 salivary gland cases per year. Unique clinical opportunities are present, including interaction with the paraganglioma clinic overseen by the head and neck team.
Close working relationships with medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuroradiology, head and neck pathology, oromaxillofacial prosthodontics, facial prosthetics, and other surgical specialties are present and provide the opportunity to gain exposure to the multidisciplinary management of head and neck cancers. The head and neck program participates in weekly multidisciplinary tumor boards for head and neck and melanoma, and a monthly multidisciplinary tumor board for thyroid cancer. Speech therapy, nutrition, and social work services are embedded within the head and neck clinic.
Eligibility: Applicants must have completed a residency program in Otolaryngology, General Surgery or Plastic Surgery and be BC/BE in their respective specialty. Fellows must obtain a Utah medical license prior to the fellowship year as well as VA privileges for call coverage purposes.
The University of Utah Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Fellowship participates in the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) match. Further details regarding the match process can be found on the AHNS website (https://www.ahns.info/residentfellow/fellowships/)
Fellows’ Duties/Responsibilities: The fellow will be responsible for the clinical care of head and neck oncology patients in outpatient, inpatient, and operating room settings at the University of Utah, Huntsman Cancer Hospital. The fellow will average 3 days per week in the OR, where they will focus on complex oncologic resections and reconstructions. They will average 1 day per week in clinic, rotating thru each faculty member’s clinic to obtain outpatient management experience across the subspecialty. disciplines of head and neck oncology. The fellow will be responsible for running the inpatient service along with the chief resident and coordinating care with head and neck faculty. The fellow will take primary adult ENT call in the rotation with other adult University of Utah Faculty, with an average of 4 weeks of call for the year. The fellow will additionally be a part of the adult head and neck oncologic faculty rotating weekend coverage.
Research Opportunities: Fellows are expected to participate in the active Head and Neck clinical research program. Multiple existing opportunities for clinical database, outcomes, epidemiologic, and survivorship research are present within the division. Unique resources for large-scale population-based research thru the Utah Population Database are present. Introductions to clinical trial development and oversight are also available. Research opportunities and mentorship will be expected to be tailored to the fellow’s clinical and research interests. The fellow will have, on average, 0.5 days per week for research endeavors. At a minimum the fellow will be expected to have published or submitted for publication 1 manuscript from their fellowship research experience.
Supervision, Teaching & Call: Supervision: The head and neck surgical oncology fellow’s abilities will be evaluated to determine progressive authority and responsibility, conditional independence and a supervisory role in patient care in the following ways:
· Daily supervision in the clinic from one of the six core head and neck surgical oncology faculty
· Quarterly faculty evaluation of fellow case logs, research/academic productively, clinical skills, achievement of AHNS fellowship curriculum milestones.
· Quarterly 360 feedback from clinical and administrative staff and otolaryngology residents
· As the fellow reaches milestones and gains clinical experience and has demonstrated excellence in operative technique, they will be allowed some independent practice, typically in the second half of fellowship.
Teaching: The fellow will be expected to teach both residents and medical students in both clinical and didactic settings. The fellow will be responsible for instruction of residents and medical students in both the clinic and OR. The fellow will lead resident physicians thru appropriate level oncologic cases. The fellow will also be expected to give one grand rounds to the department of Otolaryngology during the year-long fellowship. The fellow will also be responsible for participating and leading group discussions during the monthly head and neck oncology lectures and journal club.
Call: The fellow will take primary adult ENT call in the rotation with other adult University of Utah Faculty, with an average of 4 weeks of call for the year. The fellow will additionally be a part of the adult head and neck oncologic faculty rotating weekend coverage.
Marcus Monroe, MD, FACS
Richard Cannon, MD, FACS