Residency Program

Niels Kokot, MD, Residency Program Director
USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Tamara Brown

Tamara Brown, MD, Residency Program Associate Director – USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

“You will develop dedication, expertise and compassion because of this unique training setting.”

About the Residency Program

The USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery provides residents with education in the comprehensive evaluation and management of diseases and disorders of the ears, upper respiratory system, upper alimentary system, and related structures of the head and neck. Residents obtain graduated responsibility in accordance with their level of training, but always under direct supervision.

The educational program includes basic science, core knowledge, and clinical skills relevant to understanding the head and neck while highlighting the communicative and rehabilitative sciences, such as audiology, speech pathology and physical therapy. Residents will also gain fundamental knowledge of otolaryngologic allergy, endocrinology and neurology as they relate to the head and neck area.

Our goals for the residency program are:

  1. To train safe, highly skilled surgeons who are confident and able to deliver care in all areas of otolaryngology and who are adequately prepared for the full spectrum of careers within the field.
  2. To produce independent thinkers who thrive when working autonomously from an early stage in their training and who excel within an interdisciplinary healthcare model.
  3. To create an environment of scientific investigation that equips trainees with the skills to conduct meaningful research and to pursue a research-oriented career if interested.
  4. To cultivate compassionate and culturally sensitive physicians.
  5. To train residents in the knowledge and commitment to patient safety, quality improvement, resource utilization, and patient satisfaction.
  6. To develop residents as future leaders and educators.
  7. To establish a training environment dedicated to a healthy work/life balance for residents and faculty.

Each year, our residency program receives over 200 applications for four Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) positions. We review every application received through ERAS and offer interviews to 30-40 prospective candidates. Selection for an interview is based on medical school transcripts, research experience, and letters of recommendation, in addition to a competitive Step 1 USMLE score. Although we do not have a minimum score requirement, the competition in recent years has been exceptionally high, with many more outstanding applicants than the number of available PGY1 positions. We have no formal deadline for application submission, although late applicants may find interview positions filled and not available by late December. Our interviews are conducted between December and February each year.

The faculty includes experts in clinical patient care and research. At each participating rotation site, there are board-certified faculty members who instruct and supervise all residents. Each faculty member brings his or her expertise through participation in teaching rounds, instruction in clinics and surgery, formal teaching conferences and research.

The USC Caruso Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery residency program is five years. The residents spend the first year in surgical, emergency and critical care and anesthesia training. After this initial training, the program provides progressive education in otolaryngology for 48 months, inclusive of vacation time. During the final year of education, the residents act at the capacity of a chief resident in the sponsoring institution.

Application

All prospective applicants wishing to apply to our program must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Applicants must also register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

Our requirements for application include:

  • Common application form
  • Personal statement
  • Medical school transcript
  • MSPE/ Dean’s Letter
  • Letters of recommendation (minimum of 3)
  • Photograph
  • USMLE transcript
  • ECFMG status report – foreign graduates only

Quick Links

Need Help Applying?
Contact
Kimberley Schultz
Residency Program Coordinator
kimberley.schultz@med.usc.edu
(323) 442-4830

Schedule Overview

Residents spend the initial 12 months in surgical, emergency and critical care and anesthesia training. After this initial training, the program provides progressive education in otolaryngology for 48 months, inclusive of vacation time.
Learn more

Rotation Facilities

Residents train at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center—one of the country’s largest teaching hospitals. Residents also greatly benefit from working at state-of-the-art private hospitals, including Keck Hospital of USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Learn more

Benefits and Salary

General work benefits are provided by the County of Los Angeles and are negotiated for residents by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR). Salaries compare favorably with those of other resident positions in the community.
Learn more