Otolaryngology Surgical APP Curriculum Overview

Our Fellows will spend time in ongoing didactic learning activities, the operating room, clinic and inpatient care. During the program, you will gain experience in patient prep, setup and first assisting in the ward operating room, and develop procedural competencies such as:

  • Microscopic otoscope
  • Myringotomy
  • Pressure equalizing tube placement
  • Cerumen removal and external auditory canal debridement
  • Rigid nasal endoscopy and sinus debridement
  • Nasal packing and control of epistaxis
  • Flexible nasopharyngoscopy and laryngoscopy
  • Tracheotomy tube placement and maintenance
  • Wound care and management
  • Airway management
  • Suturing and suture removal
  • Office skin and oral cavity biopsies
  • Fine needle aspiration
  • Incision and drainage of peri-tonsillar abscess
Otolaryngology Physician Assistant program didactic session

You will also develop knowledge of ear, nose and sinus, pharyngeal and oral cavity, laryngeal and neck pathologies; thyroid and salivary gland, speech and swallowing disorders; and airway and laryngectomy management.

Didactic curriculum

The didactic curriculum will include a biweekly two-hour educational session with the faculty, felllows, medical students and any rotating PA students; weekly Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Tumor Board meetings; a monthly Morbidity and Mortality Conference; and monthly Journal Club. Felllows will also participate in quarterly internal and visiting grand rounds speakers and inpatient rounds with attending physicians throughout the year.

Jessica Wesmiller, PA-C, in procedure room a machine controls
Jessica Wesmiller, PA-C, is using the da Vinci Surgical System for a surgical procedure. The da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic surgical system designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach, and is controlled by a surgeon from a console.

Clinical curriculum

The clinical curriculum is integrated within the didactic curriculum with exposure to inpatient and emergency room consults, inpatient and outpatient management, and the operating room. Physician Assistant Fellowswill perform daily rounds, obtain focused patient histories, present patients, perform head and neck physical exams, order appropriate diagnostic studies, interpret radiographic studies, formulate differential diagnoses, apply appropriate pharmacotherapy, make referrals for surgery or other consultations, implement the plan of care, give educational presentations, and manage inpatients with otolaryngological disorders and post-operative from head and neck surgery.


During your fellowship you will be mentored by the attending physicians, chief residents, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and surgical residents. You will meet monthly with the Program Director to review procedure logs, clinic attendance, and feedback from faculty, and sit for a mid-year and end of year written exam.

Clinic Experience

  • Work daily with Audiologists to manage hearing amplification devices including traditional hearing aids, BiCROS hearing aid, and Cochlear Implants
  • Work with Audiologists and Physical Therapists to interpret results of Vestibular Testing including VNG, vHIT, ECOG, VEMP testing, and Computerized Dynamic Posturography
  • Rhinology Procedural clinic
    • Assist surgeon with in-clinic Rhinology procedures
  • Gain experience with evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and management of acute and chronic Oral and Maxillofacial pathology

Surgical Experience

  • Stealth CT Guided nasal and sinus procedures
    • Assist surgeon with the utilization of image-guided equipment and techniques for sinus and skull-based surgeries
  • Cochlear Implantation for both Adult and Pediatric patients
  • Combined procedures with other Surgical specialties including Plastic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Thoracic Surgery, and others
  • Surgical implant for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Assist with Oral and Maxillofacial surgical procedures


  • Opportunities to contribute to ongoing original research projects conducted by both attending Physicians and Surgical Residents