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FAQ

Will I learn all facets of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery?

Our training program provides a varied and comprehensive educational experience based on the diverse patient population and educational opportunities. In particular, our graduating residents complete their training averaging more than 3200 surgical cases as primary surgeon – well above the national average. Our one-on-one proctorship during the PGY-2 and PGY-3 year serves as an excellent apprenticeship introduction to the specialty. Our commitment to a complete didactic program is evident in the 20-25 conferences offered on a monthly basis. During your residency at Kaiser, you will be exposed to the various subspecialty areas and work with attendings who have had otolaryngology fellowship training in Facial Plastics, Laryngology, H&N Oncology, Microvascular Reconstruction, Rhinology/Skull-Base Surgery, Mohs’ Chemosurgery, Neurotology and Pediatrics.

What is the volume and diversity of patients?

Unlike many university programs, Kaiser Permanente’s volume of patients is large and growing steadily. Kaiser Permanente serves about 50% of all insured Californians and Northern California Kaiser Permanente now cares for over 3.8 million patients. Kaiser Permanente also provides coverage for a significant number of Medicare/MediCal non-privately insured patients. The Oakland medical facility serves as the major tertiary care hospital within Northern California Kaiser Permanente. Many patients with advanced disease processes, or rare conditions, are referred for evaluation and treatment to our department. There is no differentiation among patients (i.e., no resident patients versus private patients). Every patient is potentially a resident patient and on the teaching service.

Where do the Kaiser Permanente residents typically come from?

Applicants are from medical schools across the United States. A roster of current residents and recent graduates can be found under Our Residents.

Where do Kaiser Permanente residents go after graduation?

Fifty percent of our graduates go on to private clinical practices. Many have found the practice style desirable within the Kaiser system and have taken staff positions at other Kaiser facilities in Northern and Southern California. The other 50% of our graduates have gone on to fellowship. All of our residents who have elected to pursue a subspecialty fellowship have successfully matched. Former residents from our program are highly competitive for further training and have matched for fellowships in facial plastic surgery, neurotology, rhinology, laryngology, pediatric otolaryngology and Mohs chemosurgery.

How do the residents perform on the annual in-service and the ABO board certification examinations?

Over the past 15 years, our residents, as a group, have always scored in the upper half of all programs taking the Annual Otolaryngology Training Examination. Since the inception of our program in 1969, our graduating residents have maintained a near 100% pass rate in the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery certifying examination.

What is the duty schedule like?

We strictly adhere to the ACGME work duty hour guidelines. Our residents do not take in-house call and average call duty every third to fourth night, and every third to fourth weekend.

Is the program fully accredited?

Yes, the program is fully accredited by the ACGME without outstanding citations through 2020.

Do we support volunteer work or international medicine?

As a nonprofit HMO, Kaiser has a long tradition of sponsoring volunteer, preventative and medical mission efforts. There are multiple health seminars and health fairs for which you can volunteer. Even more exceptionally, we strongly support international medical missions. Our department has faculty that travel with residents to medical missions to Guatemala, Ecuador, and the Philippines. Residents typically participate in two or more medical missions during the course of their residency. Two missions can even be taken as clinical rotations and beyond that, vacation time can be used for additional experiences. Kaiser also has an internal Global Health Mission Fund, to reimburse residents for travel expenses associated with missions that have been approved through our organization. We also have donated surgical services to Operation Access, a non-profit that offers free ambulatory surgical services to the Bay Area’s working poor.

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