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Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

Rotation at a Glance



Tom Thomas, MD., MPH



Morristown Medical Center



4 weeks



  • Throughout the academic year
  • 1 to 2 students per rotation; rotation starts on the first Monday of the month



Successful completion of all third-year clerkships, specifically Medicine and General Surgery



The head and neck surgery rotation at Morristown Medical Center is for 4th-year medical students. Student spend 4 weeks of elective time at one of the country's highly ranked and busiest head and neck surgical oncology programs.  We treat benign and malignant diseases of the head and neck.  The student will work closely with the head and neck surgery team. They will participate in evaluating and treating numerous head and neck pathologies.

Learning Experience:


  • Gain 1st hand knowledge in head and neck cancer treatment at a busy surgical service at a large, tertiary care community-based teaching institution.
  • The student will have exposure to cutting-edge head and neck surgical techniques. Techniques include transoral robotic surgery (TORS), transoral laser microsurgery (TLM), microvascular surgery, and open and minimally invasive surgery.
  • The student will obtain didactic teaching. Teaching is centered around an introduction to head and neck anatomy, common pathology, monthly conferences including morbidity and mortality conferences, etc.
  • Assist with call duties on weekends for 2 weekends during the month.
  • Interact with consultants and primary surgical attending physicians.
  • The head and neck surgical attending will directly supervise the student.
  • This student will help to formulate and manage pre and postoperative care of patients. They will do this under the guidance of head and neck attending.
  • The student will work closely with our mid-level providers.

Goals & Objectives:


  • Have a thorough understanding of the basic anatomy of the head and neck.
  • Learn how to obtain a comprehensive medical history.
  • Perform a comprehensive head and neck physical examination.
  • Learn to identify common presenting symptoms and signs of head and neck pathology.
  • Understand the basic treatment options for the patient including surgery, radiation treatment, and chemo/immunotherapy.
  • Learn the basics of assisting in head and neck surgery.
  • Learn how to position head and neck surgical patients for various surgeries.
  • Gain understanding and perform basic suturing techniques in the operating room.
  • Learn how to ask for feedback and implement appropriate changes

Feedback & Evaluation:


The attending surgeons on the service and the course director will evaluate students.  Feedback from mid-level providers, OR staff, and floor staff will be obtained.