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Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences

MCW Otolaryngology Residency Program

  • Positions Available Per Year: 3
  • Years of Training:  5
  • Locations: Froedtert Hospital, Children's Wisconsin, Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, and Froedtert Hospital Menomonee Falls
  • Program Director: Thomas Robey, MD
  • Associate Program Director: David Poetker, MD
  • Residency Coordinator: Diann Fiscus
    dfiscus@mcw.edu
    (414) 955-0827 | (414) 955-0074 (fax)
Meet our Residents
Resident Graduation 19 Group Photo
Axe Milwaukee

Resident wellness matters to us.

Established in 2018, the resident wellness committee plans quarterly outings funded by the department for residents and their significant others to unwind and explore our wonderful city.

Residency Program Leadership

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Thomas Robey, MD

Residency Program Director

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David Poetker, MD

Residency Associate Program Director

Learn more about our residency program including rotation schedule details, duty hours, conferences, call specifics and more. 

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General Program Outline

Five Year Training Program

PGY-1 Resident
The PGY-1 year is managed by the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences as mandated by the ACGME. Rotations include Trauma Surgery, Plastic Surgery, SICU, Pediatric Surgery, Anesthesia and General Surgery in addition to six months on the otolaryngology service. All rotations are completed in Medical College of Wisconsin affiliated hospitals.

The PGY-1 year is designed to allow the resident to accumulate background information leading to more specialized training. Trainees emerge from this year with excellent patient care skills.

PGY-2 Resident
The PGY-2 year consists of 12 months of otolaryngology with rotations at Froedtert Hospital, Children's Wisconsin, and VA Medical Center. The PGY-2 resident is exposed to a variety of clinical dilemmas and diseases and is guided by faculty and more senior level residents.

The resident perfects examination techniques in this year and learns to evaluate patients in the outpatient and inpatient settings.

The PGY-2 resident begins to display learning through participation in conferences and case presentations. Examples of early surgical experience include: myringotomy, tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, tracheotomy, endoscopy, and skin and oral cavity excisions. The PGY-2 resident assists in more complex procedures. Direct supervision is required for all surgical procedures at all of the institutions.

PGY-3 Resident
The PGY-3 year includes 3 months of dedicated research along with 2 months of research and clinic duty. A research proposal must be developed and presented, under the mentorship of a faculty member, before beginning the PGY-3 year.

One month of electives (divided weekly with the VA clinic) are dedicated specifically for resident exposure to allergy, audiology, head and neck radiology, radiation oncology, speech pathology, and surgical pathology.

Five months of the PGY-3 year are spent on rotations at Froedtert Hospital and the VA, rotating specifically in rhinology, facial plastic surgery, otology, and general otolaryngology. And, one month is spent at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

The PGY-3 resident will continue to learn to diagnose a broad spectrum of adult and pediatric patients presenting to the clinic, emergency room, and as inpatient consultations.

PGY-4 Resident

The PGY-4 year consists of rotations at Froedtert Hospital (8 months) and Children's Wisconsin (4 months). While at Children's, the resident first tests his/her administrative skills, serving as Chief Resident.

The PGY-4 resident is expected to be able to discuss all but the most complex patients.  Surgical experience includes a variety of more complex procedures, including major head and neck, sinus, and pediatric, although the resident continues to assist on the most complex cases.

PGY-5 Resident
The PGY-5 year consists of four months at the VA Medical Center and eight months at Froedtert Hospital; the PGY-5 serves as Chief Resident at both institutions.

The PGY-5 resident routinely performs complex head and neck, otology, sinus, general, and reconstructive procedures under faculty supervision.

They may also be involved in multi-disciplinary surgical procedures with plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and neurosurgery.

The PGY-5 resident is expected to be capable of discussing the most complicated patients, confidently handling emergencies, recognizing and handling complications, seeking help at appropriate decision points, and expertly teaching more junior level trainees and medical students.

In addition, increased administrative and teaching duties further prepare each PGY-5 resident to become an independent otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon.

Clinical Experience and Education

The Department’s policy concerning clinical experience and education is consistent with the policy set by the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Inc. (MCWAH), under guidelines established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the Otolaryngology Residency Review Committee (RRC).

The otolaryngology program schedules resident assignments to in compliance with all applicable ACGME requirements and faculty members know, honor, and assist in implementing limitations. Residents must observe this policy, accurately report duty hours, and participate in monitoring procedures. All involved are expected to identify and report potential violations and collaborate to devise appropriate corrective action.

Otolaryngology residents are not permitted to practice medicine and receive financial compensation (moonlight) outside of the residency training program.

Call

Call responsibilities vary depending on PGY level. Primary call is covered by the PGY-2-4 residents. Second call is covered by the PGY-5 residents at Froedtert Hospital and the VA Hospital. Second call is covered by staff at the Children’s Wisconsin. There is currently no resident call coverage at Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital.

PGY-1: During the six otolaryngology months, residents take daytime call for 1-2 weekends a month (7am to 7-m) and are backed up by a more senior resident. No overnight call.
PGY-2: 12 months of home call covering Froedtert, Children’s, and the VA, averaging 4 calls/month and 1-2 weekends per month.
PGY-3: 12 months of home call covering Froedtert, Children’s, and the VA, averaging 4 calls/month and 1-2 weekends per month.
PGY-4: 12 months of home call covering Froedtert, Children’s, and the VA, with 3-4 calls/month and 1-2 weekends per month.
PGY-5: 12 months of “second call” for residents covering Froedtert and the VA. Shared between all PGY-5 residents.

Weekends call consists of Friday/Sunday or Saturday.

If you are not on call for the weekend, then you don’t round. Typically, each resident gets 2 (sometimes 3) weekends off a month.

A holiday schedule is set at the beginning of the year including the July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Memorial Day.

Research
A structured research curriculum and devoted standing oversight committee guide resident clinical and basic science research. Formal presentations are scheduled throughout the year promoting a step-wise process for the PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents through the development of a full research proposal. The Department is committed to a protected and fully funded research block during the PGY-3 year. Research opportunities allow residents to travel, present, and associate with influential leaders in otolaryngology.
Educational Conferences and Experience
Our otolaryngology residency program is designed to meet the educational needs of residents and provide a foundation for lifelong learning while fulfilling knowledge and competency requirements.

Protected time each Tuesday afternoon allows residents to assemble as a team for presentation and review of core otolaryngology topics. Each subspecialty is offered monthly, including facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, head and neck oncology, laryngology, otology, pediatric otolaryngology, and rhinology. Otolaryngology Grand Rounds and a Morbidity/Mortality - Quality/Improvement conference is also held every month during this block time. Temporal bone drilling, along with presentations in business education, comprehensive otolaryngology, humanities, patient safety, research, surgical sleep, journal club, and mock orals round out the educational curriculum. Focus is placed on interactive, flipped classroom, and problem-based learning styles.

A multidisciplinary tumor board and facial trauma conference supplement the curriculum outside of the dedicated education block. Also, an e-learning curriculum is available to augment learning and increase independent self-study skills, preparing the resident for lifelong learning, self-discipline, and time management.

Lastly, otolaryngology residents participate in hands-on educational opportunities throughout the year such as simulation infant bronchoscopy, foreign body removal, tracheostomy, and ear tube placement, along with a soft tissue skills lab and a rhinoplasty and sinus dissection course. Our residents likewise have access to funding for educational opportunity beyond Department means.

Application Process

The otolaryngology residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin is 5 years in length, and 3 candidates are matched each year. The application and match processes are administered by the Association of American Medical College’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

All applicants must apply through ERAS and completed applications must include:

ERAS Application
At least 3 letters of recommendation
Dean's Letter
Personal statement
Medical School Transcript
USMLE/COMLEX Scores

International medical graduates must follow all ECFMG guidelines and apply through ERAS, in addition to supplying all documents listed above.

Applications for the 2020 Match must be complete in ERAS by October 15, 2019.

Interview dates are set for January 10 and 11, 2020

Approximately 50 candidates are interviewed each year. An excellent way to learn about our program, and for us to get to know you, is to schedule an elective rotation with us. To find out more about away rotations at the Medical College of Wisconsin, visit the Medical College of Wisconsin Office of the Registrar or call (414) 955-8733.

Residency Contact:
Diann Fiscus
(414) 955-0827
dfiscus@mcw.edu

Alyssa Schwab
(414) 955-0833
alschwab@mcw.edu

Mailing Address:
Department of Otolaryngology
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

Benefits, Conditions & Terms of Employment
The Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Inc. (MCWAH) offers an excellent comprehensive benefits package. View MCWAH's Benefits, Conditions & Terms of Employment.

Where our Residents have Gone

Class of 2019
Karl Doerfer - pediatric otolaryngology fellowship, Medical College of Wisconsin/Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Ryan Little, MD - rhinology fellowship - Medical University of South Carolina - Charleston, SC 
Derek Vanhille, MD - private practice - Salem, UT

Class of 2018
Kevin Casey, MD - private practice, Hinsdale, IL
David Linn, MD - private practice, Pewaukee, WI
Kendra Luebke, MD - private practice, Omaha, NE

Class of 2017
Jad Jabbour, MD - pediatric otolaryngology fellowship, Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA - private practice, Charlotte, NC
Jessica Southwood, MD - rhinology fellowship, California Sinus Centers, Atherton, CA - academic practice, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Justin Yan, MD - private practice, Arvada, CO

Class of 2016
Craig Hoekzema, MD - private practice, Norton Shores, MI
Mallory O'Niel, MD - pediatric otolaryngology fellowship, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - academic practice, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI
Ruchin Patel, MD - facial plastics fellowship, Washington University, St. Louis, MO - private practice, Indianapolis, IN

Class of 2015
Brent Nichols, MD - private practice, Fargo, ND
Corbin Sullivan, MD - private practice, Kalamazoo, MI
Timothy Stoddard, MD - private practice, Honolulu, HI

Class of 2014
Daniel Cannon, MD - private practice, The Dalles, OR
Elizabeth Kelly, MD - neurotology fellowship, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - private practice, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
Luke Jakubowski, MD - pediatric otolaryngology fellowship, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah - academic practice, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Contact Us 

Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences

Clinical and General Information
(414) 955-0834
jwehner@mcw.edu

 

Education Information
(414) 955-0833
alschwab@mcw.edu
Froedtert Hospital Google map location