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Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist Job Description, Career as a Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: At least five years of surgical residency

Salary Median: $205,000 per year

Employment Outlook: Good

Ear, nose, and throat specialists, also known as otolaryngologists or ENT specialists, are medical doctors responsible for surgical and medical treatment of the ears, nose, and throat, as well as the related head and neck areas. Specialized skills of otolaryngologists include managing disorders of the upper pharynx and oral cavity, larynx (voice box), ears, nose and nasal passage, and face and neck. Almost all ENT specialists regularly handle cases like nosebleeds, adenoidectomies, infected mastoids, tonsillectomies, and sinusitis.

Otolaryngologists focusing on the ears treat hearing disorders, infections, balance disorders, nerve pain, ear noise (tinnitus), and cranial nerve disorders. ENT specialists of the nose deal with patients suffering from chronic sinusitis. Throat specialists treat diseases of the larynx, esophagus, and upper aero-digestive tract, including swallowing and voice disorders. Medical specialists treating problems in the head and neck regions deal with tumors, infectious diseases, deformities, and facial trauma.

Education and Training Requirements

Ear, nose, and throat specialists must complete at least five years of training in a surgical residency. This comprises a one-year course in general surgery and a four-year course in otolaryngology. Most start their medical education with a bachelor of science degree, but those with a bachelor of arts degree are also accepted into some medical school programs.

Students wishing to start their career as otolaryngologists could study advanced science and math while in high school. Not all medical institutes require a bachelor’s degree for admission. After residency, candidates can choose to pursue an advanced subspecialty fellowship that lasts from one to two years.

Getting the Job

While some ear, nose, and throat specialists start in private practice, others take jobs in hospitals and clinics. Colleges of otolaryngology and professional organizations can provide information regarding suitable job opportunities.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

With experience and expertise, ENT specialists can advance toward managerial and supervisory positions in clinics, hospitals, and other settings. They may work as medical school directors, hospital administrators, teachers in medical schools, and directors of research. ENT specialists may also manage clinics or conduct research for pharmaceutical firms. Additionally, they may in publish medical and scientific journals or take positions in public policy work on health care.

Opportunities for ear, nose, and throat specialists are expected to be quite good in the coming decade. Job prospects are particularly favorable in low-income and rural areas.

Working Conditions

The majority of ear, nose, and throat specialists work in clinics or private offices, generally assisted by nurses and administrative personnel. The environment is sterile, well-lit, and comfortable. Self-employed professionals have a lot of flexibility and can arrange their own schedules, whereas those employed by an organization have significantly less control over their schedules. ENT specialists working for pharmaceutical firms may frequently need to spend time in laboratories.

Ear, nose, and throat specialists work long and irregular hours. Travel is a necessary part of this profession, and specialists frequently need to visit patients at their homes or in hospitals.

Where to Go for More Information

American Academy of Otolaryngology
1650 Diagonal Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22314-2857

Metro Atlanta Educational Society for Otolaryngology
PO Box 11648
Atlanta, GA 30355

Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
21 Millford Cres.
Elora, ON N0B 1S0

Association for Research in Otolaryngology
19 Mantua Rd.
Mt. Royal, NJ 08061

The Triological Society (American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.)
555 N. 30th St.
Omaha, NE 68131

The Voice Foundation
1721 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

American Head and Neck Society
11300 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Salary, Earnings and Benefits

The earnings of ear, nose, and throat specialists depend on the experience, professional reputation, personality, geographic location, and skill of the physician. The salary ranges between $180,000 and $230,000 annually. Self-employed ENT specialists usually have a higher average income, compared to employees of hospitals or other organizations.

Salaried ENT specialists enjoy regular benefits like paid vacations, sick leaves, research stipends, bonuses and other incentive payments, and distribution of profits.

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