Speech Pathology Fellowship in Voice, Swallowing and Upper Airway

The USC Voice Center Experience

The USC Voice Center consists of an inter-professional team that includes voice-specialized speech language pathologists, a dysphagia-specialized speech language pathologist and three fellowship-trained laryngologists. The entire field of voice, airway and swallow-related pathology is addressed in this fellowship with the benefit of utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. The USC Voice Center aims to provide fellows with an excellent exposure to the full spectrum of voice, airway and swallowing disorders, and their medical and surgical management. Through bimonthly, interdisciplinary voice and swallow rounds, clinic-based teaching, and progressive responsibility in behavioral treatment of voice and swallowing disorders, the fellows receive a well-balanced academic experience. Each fellow will learn to hone their teaching skills by participating in the training of graduate and undergraduate student clinicians, medical students and residents when appropriate, and by participating in resident didactics.

Speech Pathology Fellowship Goals and Objectives

The Speech Language Pathology fellowship experience at The USC Voice Center is geared towards the development of competency in the assessment and treatment of voice, airway and swallowing disorders. Fellows will have exposure to all aspects of patient cases on the behavioral, medical and surgical levels. As a participatory member of the inter-professional team, each fellow will be involved in the treatment of patients in an outpatient setting for the purpose of learning and taking history, physical examination skills, and developing skills with instrumental assessment of voice and swallowing disorders. Diagnostic skills are further challenged through monthly “Voice Rounds” or “Dysphagia Rounds” where the fellow will be responsible for presenting difficult voice cases from previous weeks, and expected to understand and convey all of the issues as they pertain to the diagnosis and treatment of the patient. Fellows also work in close conjunction with on-site laryngologists and singing specialists to improve their understanding of the role of surgical treatment and physical rehabilitation of the speaking and singing voice.

Fellows will perform numerous office-based procedures, including videostrobolaryngoscopy, flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing skills (FEES), videoflouroscopic swallowing studies (VFSS), and acoustic and aerodynamic testing in addition to developing expertise in the clinical/ perceptual assessment of upper aerodigestive disorders.

Following completion of the Speech Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship at the USC Voice Center, fellows will:

  1. Have comprehensive knowledge of voice, airway and swallowing disorders
  2. Be competent in the assessment and treatment of patients with voice, airway and swallowing disorders
  3. Be able to perform the full array of office-based procedures for voice disorders
  4. Become skilled in behavioral treatment planning and implementation for voice, airway, and swallowing disorders
  5. Have met all requirements to complete the ASHA Clinical Fellowship Year and apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence

Research

Fellows are expected to participate in new or ongoing research efforts. Research time is provided in the schedule. Currently, the USC Voice Center faculty is involved in many ongoing research projects, both clinical and laboratory-based. It is anticipated that fellows will submit at least one abstract to a national meeting for oral presentation and one manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal.

Didactics and Teaching

Fellows are expected to participate in the training and teaching of undergraduate and graduate students in speech language pathology completing their internships at the USC Voice Center, singing students from the USC Thornton School of Music participating in the voice arts medicine curriculum and medical students and residents as indicated. The fellow will help coordinate voice rounds at Keck Medicine of USC, lead monthly “lunch and learns” with the team, lead one journal club, and will give one departmental Grand Rounds lecture during the year.

Length of Fellowship

A 12-month fellowship will be offered to applicants who have successfully completed a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology at an ASHA accredited university.

Please visit keckmedicine.org/uscvoicecenter for more information about our division.

Application information

Applications will be accepted beginning in mid January on the USC Voice Center website, VOICESERVE, and ASHA SIG 3 and SIG 13 listservs.

Application deadlines change yearly so please apply only to the open application.

Contact

Please send inquiries and applications to: Ehapner@USC.edu .