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The subspecialty of rhinology: a survey of otolaryngology chairmen


  • Potential conflict of interest: None provided.

Correspondence to: Abtin Tabaee, MD, Beth Israel Medical Center, Department of Otolaryngology, 10 Union Square East, Suite 4J, New York, NY 10003; e-mail:



The past decade has witnessed the emergence of rhinology as a distinct subspecialty within otolaryngology. A critical evaluation of this process is necessary to define the field and to determine the impact of subspecialization on residency education.


An Internet-based survey of otolaryngology residency chairmen was performed to query attitudes about the importance of various aspects of rhinologic education including didactics, presence of rhinology faculty, exposure to research, office-based rhinology, and various surgical procedures. A 7-point Likert scale was used to rate responses.


A 30.2% response rate was noted for the chairmen survey. From the chairmen's perspective, overall high levels of importance were ascribed to rhinology education and surgical training in otolaryngology residency. Lower scores for importance were noted for basic science research, exposure to office-based allergy care, and advanced surgical procedures. High scores were noted for the importance of fellowship training in the professional development of a resident interested in pursuing a career in rhinology.


Overall high levels of importance were ascribed by the participating chairmen to the importance of rhinology education in residency. As the subspecialty of rhinology continues to develop, the role of the various educational, research and clinical activities will require continued evaluation.