Didactic Curriculum in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Bleier leads a procedure
Faculty in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School (HMS) offer a comprehensive collection of rounds, lecture series’, and courses as part of their commitment to training future leaders in otolaryngology. Some of these programs are specific to the Harvard Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Residency Program, while others are available to the broader community.

For a comprehensive schedule of educational conferences and events, please see our online calendar.

For more information on our educational programs, please contact our Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Education Office at 617-573-3654.

Education Lecture Series

Thursday Mornings, 79 am

Supplementary to the hands-on training that is cultivated in the operating room, in outpatient clinics and in our laboratories, teaching conferences are an essential part of the otolaryngology curriculum. From case reviews to didactic sessions, a variety of topics are covered during our Education Lecture Series, a dedicated 2-hour block on Thursday mornings that includes Grand Rounds, study sessions, and other presentations as part of the rotating curriculum.

Our program is structured so that each subspecialty is represented over the course of the year. These subspecialties (head and neck surgical oncology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, otology and neurotology, pediatric otolaryngology, general otolaryngology, rhinology, and laryngology) provide formal teaching conferences within designated subspecialty blocks.

Facial Plastic &
Otology &
Head & Neck
Surgical Oncology

Learn more about the Harvard Otolaryngology Residency Program rotations and educational objectives »

The lecture series consists of Grand Rounds from 7–8 am in the Meltzer Auditorium at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. Grand Rounds lectures are open to all of our residents, fellows, and staff, as well as other otolaryngologists in the community. Speakers are drawn from otolaryngology and related specialties, often from within the HMS community, but also from other local medical institutions. The primary goal of Grand Rounds is to bring the larger community together with a speaker or panel discussion that relates to the current subspecialty block. Category 1 CME credit is available for these 7 am conferences.

The second hour of the Education Lecture Series, from 8–9 am, is designed as a resident study session. During the study session, residents lead a didactic session that reflects or responds to the Grand Rounds lecture of the previous hour.

On the fourth Thursday of every month, the Lecture Series includes an M&M Conference and a FOCUS research presentation, research project updates given by residents and fellows.

The M&M Conference is a national initiative mandated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The conference is an opportunity to review cases and foster high-quality discussions. It is also a valuable tool that encourages problem-based learning and improvement, as the residents review the related literature and engage in thoughtful discussions on how to minimize risk and promote patient safety.

Visiting Professors

The program also offers Visiting Professor lectures throughout the year. For this series, the program selects prominent otolaryngologists from other institutions to provide lectures that represent particular areas of expertise.

For upcoming Visiting Professor lectures, please view the online calendar.

Quality, Humanism, and Professionalism (QHP)

An additional program that replaces the Thursday morning conferences on a quarterly basis is the Quality, Humanism, and Professionalism (QHP) lecture series. Founded and co-directed by Paul M. Konowitz, MD, FACS, the QHP lecture series was developed at Mass. Eye and Ear to emphasize the importance of professionalism, teamwork, a commitment to duty, and empathy for patients in the residency curriculum, topics that are not often formally discussed past medical school. A combined initiative between the departments of otolaryngology, ophthalmology, radiology, anesthesia, and nursing, the overarching goal of the QHP program is to educate physicians in those crucial aspects of medical practice, which will allow them to provide more humanistic, higher quality professional medical care. Speakers are drawn from a variety of disciplines, including those from the HMS community, as well as nationally recognized experts.

For upcoming Quality, Humanism, and Professionalism lectures, please view the online calendar.

Additional Educational Conferences

Our program offers an array of additional educational conferences that are specific to the subspecialties of otolaryngology (head and neck surgical oncology, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, otology and neurotology, pediatric otolaryngology, rhinology, and laryngology) in addition to the Education Lecture Series.

The regular educational conferences are structured in various ways to offer residents comprehensive discussion of the subspecialty areas. Clinical case review conferences offer an opportunity to discuss complex cases and to gather feedback from all the attending surgeons from that subspecialty. During journal club conferences, the residents select different published articles and lead a discussion on those published works. Special problems conferences offer an in-depth discussion of highly unusual or complicated cases.

The following regular teaching conferences are offered at Mass. Eye and Ear:

  • ENT Pathology Conferences
  • Facial Nerve Conference
  • Head and Neck Case Review
  • Issues in Research
  • Otology Conferences: Journal Club, Special Problems in Otology, and the Otopathology Conference
  • Pediatric Hearing Loss Case Conference
  • Rhinology Conferences: Journal Club and Special Problems in Rhinology
  • Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery Conference

Additional teaching conferences for residents and fellows are held at Boston Children’s Hospital. For more information, please visit www.childrenshospital.org/ORLeducation.

For a full schedule of all regular educational conferences within the HMS Department of Otolaryngology community, please see our online department calendar.

Resident Dissection Courses

Dissection courses for our residents offer advanced, hands-on instruction using anatomic, cadaveric specimens. The majority of these courses take place in our state-of-the-art Joseph B. Nadol, Jr., M.D., Otolaryngology Surgical Training Laboratory.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Dissection Course: A combined course with the Boston University and Tufts otolaryngology residency programs, usually held on a Saturday in November for PGY-2 and PGY-5 residents.

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Courses: Including fracture plating, rhinoplasty, and local flaps.

Microlaryngoscopy Dissection: One full day session for PGY-2 and PGY-5 residents.

Temporal Bone Dissection Course: Comprised of four separate full day sessions for PGY-2 residents.

Continuing Medical Education

Continuing medical education (CME) programs are designed to provide the most up to date information and strategies for physicians and allied health professionals. These courses are offered through HMS Department of Continuing Education, with the goal of optimizing patient care. Members of our faculty direct the following courses:

  • Update in Head and Neck Cancer
  • Update on Pediatric Airway, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders
  • Endoscopic Surgery of the Sinuses, Eustachian Tube, and Ear 
  • Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands
  • Endoscopic Ear Surgery: A 2-Day Dissection Course
  • Temporal Bone Dissection Course
  • Otolaryngology Update
  • Snoring and Sleep Disordered Breathing 
  • And more!

View information on upcoming courses »

Society Meetings

As active participants in the otolaryngology community, our trainees often attend and contribute to regional, national, and international society meetings, including the annual meetings of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), and the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings (COSM).

Harvard Otolaryngology residents are also heavily involved in the New England Otolaryngology Society (NEOS), a regional otolaryngology society for otolaryngologists in the New England area. NEOS members meet three times per year to discuss topics relevant to the advancement of the science and practice of otolaryngology. At each meeting, a resident from each of the New England otolaryngology residency programs present case presentations and well-known otolaryngologists from the region and nation provide lectures on topics specific to otolaryngology.

View information on upcoming NEOS meetings »