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Keywords:

  • rhinology;
  • fellowship;
  • residency;
  • otolaryngology;
  • education;
  • workforce;
  • endoscopic sinus surgery

Background

Rhinology has rapidly evolved as a subspecialty over the past decade. The professional activities of rhinology faculty in otolaryngology residency programs is an important defining feature of this process but remains incompletely understood.

Methods

An examination of faculty profiles of otolaryngology residency programs in the United States was performed to examine the professional activities of rhinologists. An anonymous, web-based survey of rhinology faculty was also performed to query professional activities and career satisfaction.

Results

Nine percent of chairmen and 12% of residency program directors were rhinologists. The number of full-time rhinology faculty members varied significantly among departments (mean 1; range, 0-4). Rhinology faculty members were noted to have a high number of scientific publications over the past 5 years (mean 15 per faculty), a high level of membership to the American Rhinologic Society (90%) and modest levels of membership to other societies. As reported by the 45 respondents who successfully completed the survey, higher percentages of professional time was devoted to clinical medicine when compared with administrative and research activities. Inflammatory sinusitis represented the most common clinical condition treated, and there was variability with respect to other disorders and procedures. Career satisfaction scores were highest for medical and surgical care, teaching activities, financial and emotional well being, and overall career to date. Lower satisfaction scores were noted for research and administrative activities and for balance of personal life with work.

Conclusion

This study further defines the professional, clinical, and surgical activities of academic rhinologists. Continued analysis of the subspecialization of rhinology is required.