The Conduit of Life
We owe our very existence to our ability to take in air, drink and food. We attribute a large measure of our interaction with the world around us to our senses of smell and sound. Otolaryngologists better known as Ear-Nose-and-Throat specialists (ENT) are the professionals whose dedicated duty it is to protect and treat those vital conduits.
Quiet But Sizeable Contributions
Many people are unaware that approximately 20 million Americans seek ENT treatment for both medical and surgical care yearly. People with hearing disorders, chronic sinusitis, laryngeal and oesophageal diseases as well as cancers, deformities and traumas of the head, face and neck turn to these specialists for care.
ENT Specialists Are Physicians
These professionals are a speciality of doctors within the body of doctors. In addition to 4 years and at accredited university and 4 years of medical school medical students who aspire to the field of otolaryngology must complete an additional 5 years of residency. This residency provides training in aesthesia, basic surgery, critical care, and emergency medicine.
Specialization “Don’t Come Easy”
After these 13 years of study and practice all ENT trainee residents will then have an additional 51 months (slightly more than 4 years) of progressive education in the specialty. The final 12 month of this progressive education must be spent as a chief resident within an approved institution. Some residents opt for additional training in a subspecialty such as reconstructive surgery in order to perform face lifts, nose jobs or to assist people who have suffered changes in accidents.
Trainee otolaryngologists then take the American Board of Otolaryngology examination, a battery of exams that includes an otolaryngology training exam, a qualifying exam and an oral exam. There are additional subspecialty exams such as the neurotology exam and sleep medicine exam. These trainee specialists who pass both the written and oral exams receive their board certification.
The Wonder is Hard-Won
The palette of problems that ENT doctors treat is wide and surprising. They treat seemingly straightforward pollen allergies, nose bleeds, stuffiness, dizziness, ear infections, and hearing loss on the one hand. They also treat birth defects of the head and neck, sleep apnea, and diseases of the voice box and vocal cords on the other. Owing to up to 17+ years of study and specialization these specialists are able successfully to treat and manage such a range of problems.
A Journey Not a Destination
ENT specialists enter a lifelong career that includes participating in learning activities and on-going assessment related to the ENT specialist’s current practice, all of which is ideally integrated into the specialist’s normal workflow.
Our Vital Conduits Deserve The Best
Though we seldom hear about ENT specialists in the media these are the very specialists who have gained the expertise that treating and protecting our vital conduits deserves. These specialized physicians and surgeons can ease ailment and reconstruct and even restore function and appearance in order to improve the quality for life for millions of Americans yearly.