First Week of ENT

I’m halfway done with my ENT surgery selective, and as expected, I’m really enjoying the experience!

A classmate and I recently watched a stapedectomy, a procedure in which the stapes, the smallest bone in the human body, was masterfully excised out of the middle ear and replaced by a prosthesis. The entire procedure took roughly two hours, and it was an artful demonstration of skill by the chief resident. Speaking of which… the residents have been incredibly receptive of students and go out of their way to show us unique anatomical findings and quiz us on relevant head/neck issues. Even in the operating room, an attending walked us through the anatomy from the aforementioned stapedectomy and helped us remember concepts from the basic sciences which make such detailed surgeries successful. This willingness to teach makes the rotation way more fulfilling, and I’m grateful for getting to work with familiar faces over these two weeks.

Overview of anatomy in a stapedectomy

I’ve spent most of 2011 wanting to pursue ENT, and after having been in the operating room and clinic, that notion is unshaken. My favorite part of clinic has been the variety of bedside procedures ENT can perform outside of the operating room. From simple cerumen (earwax) disimpaction to more advanced abscess drainages, patients leave the clinic with an immediate sense of relief and plan for follow-up. In a field of delayed gratification, it’s a great feeling to help patients experience relief from a short clinic visit. 🙂

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