6 Best ENT Otolaryngology Residency Programs (Key Info & Data)

ENT, or (ear, nose, and throat), is one of the oldest medical specialties, producing otorhinolaryngologists, otolaryngologists, head and neck surgeons, or ENT surgeons or physicians.

Also a popular surgical subspecialty, it’s highly competitive, ranking close to dermatology and the other surgical subspecialties in terms of demand.

To stand a chance of getting accepted as a resident in any of the following programs, you’ll need an average USMLE Step 1 score is 248, and 256 on USMLE Step2CK. Publications and research are also heavily encouraged.

With an average US base salary of $391,549, it’s not hard to see why there are a lot of aspiring ENTs out there!

The best ENT residency programs offer those interested in the field the greatest training possible.

This article takes a look at the top programs in the country (as ranked by the US News Best Grad Schools Report 2022), taking a deep dive into what’s offered by each and what you can expect if you’re lucky enough to match.

We’ve also included key info on facts/stats for each program (where publicized) too.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

Before you dive into our article on the best neurology residency programs, make sure you take a look at our Best Residency Programs page to get all the critical info on other specialties.

1. Harvard University

Length of Accredited Training:5
Positions By Year:5 (total)
PGY1 Annual Salary:$66,500

The Harvard Medical School Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery Residency Program has two tracks. The clinical track accepts four residents each year and comprises five years of training. The research track only takes one resident per year. In addition to five clinical years, this track includes a two-year block devoted entirely to research training. These dedicated research years occur between the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years of training.

Residents rotate at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Interns also work at Mass General during their PGY-1 year for six months of rotations in surgery, anesthesia, and ICU.

22 out of the 24 graduates (91 percent) from 2017 to 2021 pursued fellowship training after their residency. The most common fellowships pursued include Head and Neck Oncology, Neurotology, and Rhinology. Seventy-five percent of graduates remain in academics after completing their training.

For more on Harvard’s ENT residency program check out the video below…


2. Johns Hopkins University

Length of Accredited Training:5
Positions By Year:4-5 (total)
PGY1 Annual Salary:$60,000 (est.)

The Johns Hopkins Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) Residency Training Program provides comprehensive clinical training and excellent research experience in all subspecialties.

The clinical track is a five-year program with up to six months of research time. This track accepts two to three residents each year. Meanwhile, the research track takes two residents each year and lasts for six-and-a-half years, including two years of NIH-funded research.

Resident didactics represent three hours per week and include weekly grand rounds, lectures, and journal club sessions. The annual hands-on educational courses include temporal bone, pediatric bronchoscopy, and head and neck dissection.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the principal academic center. Several rotations during each year of training expose residents to all areas of otolaryngology. Residents also pursue select subspecialties at Bayview Medical Center. And the Greater Baltimore Medical Center is home to a resident-run otolaryngology private practice starting in the PGY-2 year.

For more info on Johns Hopkins ENT history, see the video below…


3. University of California San Francisco

Length of Accredited Training:5
Positions By Year:5 (total)
PGY1 Annual Salary:$64,362

The Head and Neck Surgery Residency of UCSF’s Department of Otolaryngology is a five-year program. It encompasses all subspecialty areas within Otolaryngology and offers its residents the opportunity to train in diverse environments.

Rotations during the PGY-1 year cover multiple medical disciplines such as trauma surgery, ICU, neurosurgery, and general surgery.

Rotations during the PGY-2 year include outpatient clinical care and trauma management at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Residents also perform anterior and lateral skull base surgery at UCSF Parnassus and complete a pediatric otolaryngology rotation at Benioff Children’s Hospital.

PGY-3 residents rotate at San Francisco General Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital through subspecialty-specific rotations, including rhinology, sleep surgery, laryngology, and facial plastic surgery.

Residents complete a three-month dedicated research rotation during the PGY-4 year. And then assume chief resident’s responsibilities in the final PGY-5 year.

For more on this residency program, see the video below…


4. University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

Length of Accredited Training:5
Positions By Year:5 (total)
PGY1 Annual Salary:$60,757

The Otorhinolaryngology Residency Program of the University of Pennsylvania accepts five residents each year. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is the principal clinical training site of the program.

During the PGY-1, PGY-2, and PGY-4 years, the residents rotate in a service of HUP primarily devoted to patients with head and neck oncologic and reconstructive problems. And at the PGY-2 and PGY-3 levels, residents also rotate in a different service dealing especially with otology, rhinology, sinus surgery, and general otolaryngology.

The program also includes rotations at Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. These rotations cover both common and rare clinical problems and require increasing responsibilities from the residents through the training program. Each resident completes their final rotation at each institution as chief resident of the service.

Residents have a 5-month research rotation during the PGY-4 year and an advanced subspecialty elective as a capstone project in the PGY-5 year.

For more on Penn Medicine’s ENT residency program see the video below…


  • Name: University of Pennsylvania
  • Address: 3400 Spruce Street, 5th Floor Ravdin, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Contact: bonnie.rosen@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
  • Website: med.upenn.edu/residency-program

5. Ohio State University

Length of Accredited Training:5
Positions By Year:5 (total)
PGY1 Annual Salary:$57,953

Ohio State’s five-year otolaryngology residency program accepts five residents per year. Throughout the program, residents rotate between three otolaryngology services at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The PGY-1 year is a surgical internship with core rotations in anesthesia, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, emergency medicine, and MICU. And a six-month otolaryngology block completes the first year of the program.

Residents spend six months on dedicated research rotations over the PGY-3 and PGY-4 years. A variety of research pursuits are available on the Ohio State University main campus. Recent areas of focus include hearing and balance disorders, head and neck oncology, and nasal airflow dynamics.

The educational curriculum comprises an extensive conference and didactic schedule, weekly Grand Rounds, and various courses. Over the last five years, Ohio State graduates have averaged in the top 5 percent on the national ENT in-service examination. They’ve also received multiple national and regional awards.

For more on Ohio State’s ENT residency program, check out the video below…


6. University of Michigan

Length of Accredited Training:5-6
Positions By Year:5 (total)
PGY1 Annual Salary:$64,101

Each year, five positions are available for the Michigan Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency program. Four positions are open in the five-year clinical training program and one in the six-year Advanced Research Training in Otolaryngology Program.

Both tracks offer a balance of inpatient, outpatient, operative, and research experience. Residents in the five-year clinical program have a six-month research experience during their PGY-4 year. Residents in the six-year program spend a total of 18 months doing research, with an additional 12 months of research beginning in the PGY-3 year.

During their first year, residents spend six months on rotations outside of the department, in general surgery and neurosurgery, and six months in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. These rotations provide an abundance of learning opportunities across the spectrum of otolaryngologic scenarios.

Residents gradually take on more responsibilities through the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years. They also take call with senior resident backup. Rotations on different services offer a good balance between the clinic and the operative experience. Residents then begin assuming chief resident responsibilities from the PGY-4 year. And the final PGY-5 year provides residents with an excellent opportunity to hone their teaching skills.

Michigan Medicine’s multidisciplinary Clinical Simulation Center allows residents to practice procedures in nearly real situations while assessing competency in a risk-free setting.

For more on this program, check out the video below…


How Do Otolaryngology ENT Residency Programs Work?

Training in otolaryngology involves completing four years of graduate medical education first before moving on to dedicated residency programs.

ENT programs are long in training length, averaging 5 years.

After residency common subspecialties (fellowships) pursued include head and neck oncology and microvascular surgery, otology/neurotology, pediatric otolaryngology, and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

How Many Otolaryngology ENT Residency Programs Are There?

There are over 125 otolaryngology residency training programs according to the AMA.

The examples above are considered the finest offered among those programs in the US and are ranked on criteria via peer assessment, residency director assessment, student selectivity, the mean MCAT score for the institution, the mean GPA of its matriculants, faculty resources, research activity and more.

The exact methodology is detailed in the U.S. News Best Medical Schools Rankings pages

How to Get Accepted Into a Top Otolaryngology ENT Residency Program

Gaining admission into the top residency programs involves submitting a competitive application via ERAS, The Electronic Residency Application Service.

This is a centralized online application service that you’ll need to use in order to “match” into the programs above.

Most programs begin reading applications over the first couple of weeks of autumn/fall and invite applicants to interview in the weeks following.

Generally, psychiatry residency program applications include the following:

  • A completed ERAS application
  • Personal statement/s
  • Supplemental statement/s (where requested)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A full, official medical school transcript
  • Your USMLE Step 1/COMLEX transcripts
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

Selection criteria are specific for each program but commonly applicants are scored on a combination of grades, clinical and research experiences, special interests, and anything else surgical departments/programs find relevant.

To be competitive, and stand a chance at matching into the best programs, you’re going to need great Step 1 and Step 2 scores, research experience, impressive extracurriculars, and a solid letter of recommendation.


  • https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/physician-otolaryngology-salary