Overview of the Specialty

With the exception of visual and eye-related disorders (treated by ophthalmologists) and lesions of the brain (treated by neurologists and neurological surgeons), otolaryngologists treat diseases and lesions above the shoulders in patients of all ages, including ears, respiratory and upper alimentary systems in the head and neck in general. Otolaryngology specialists are trained in otology, rhinology, laryngology, allergy, head and neck surgery, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and bronchoesophagology. They also have an understanding of the communication sciences, endocrinology and neurology.

At a Glance


  • 5 years of residency
  • Categorical and advanced positions available

These are minimum requirements. Some programs may have longer residencies.


Otology-Neurotology2 years
Pediatric Otolaryngology2 years


Median, Academic Salary$364,000
Median, Clinical Salary$401,000

Source: Association of American Medical Colleges

Training Requirements

Training consists of a minimum of five years of postgraduate education. There were 106 otolaryngology residency training programs accredited by the ACGME for 2014/15 that offered 299 categorical positions.

Matching Program Information and Match Statistics

Otolaryngology residency training programs participate in the National Resident Matching Program. Match results and competitiveness information for otolaryngology residency training positions are summarized In the U.S. Match Statistics table below.

US Match Statistics





# Categorical positions available for U.S. Seniors299295292285
% U.S. Seniors Matched*82%82%78%86%
# Unfilled Categorical Positions1022
# Unmatched U.S. Seniors54526743

Source: NRMP Match results for U.S. seniors applying in a single specialty. *Competitiveness is based upon the percentage of U.S. Seniors who ranked each specialty as their only choice.

WUSM Match Statistics

For a list of WUSM match statistics for the past several years, please visit Search for WUSM Statistics. (password protected)

Subspecialty/Fellowship Training

Subspecialty/fellowship training following completion of an otolaryngology surgery residency program is available in otology/neurotology and pediatric otolaryngology. Detailed information about the scope of these subspecialty training programs, number of positions offered, and length of training is available at the FREIDA website.

Visit AMA website »
Visit FREIDA website »

Career Information

FREIDA physician workforce information for each specialty includes statistical information on the number of positions/programs for residency training, resident work hours, resident work environment and compensation, employment status upon completion of program and work environment for those entering practice in each specialty.

Washington University Resources

Faculty Contacts

Gregory Branham, MD432-7760
Judith E. C. Lieu, MD454-2138
Brian Nussenbaum, MD362-6599
M. Allison Ogden, MD362-7252
Jonathan McJunkin, MD362-4125

National Organizations