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Head & Neck Surgery (Course Code: S-123)

Elective Course Description

The Head and Neck Surgery Service is actively involved in the management of tumors of the head and neck. Approximately 1,800 major surgical procedures are performed every year. This elective surgical rotation for medical students, especially for those who have specific interest in head and neck surgery, will be extremely helpful to develop their careers in this discipline. They will be able to scrub in on a large number of cases involving thyroid and parathyroid tumors and tumors of the upper aerodigestive tract including major surgical resections of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, salivary glands, and neck dissections. The rotation includes exposure to the operating room, outpatient clinics, and multidisciplinary conferences. They will be able to acquaint themselves with the complete head and neck examination, fiberoptic examination, tracheostomies, and management of complex head and neck problems. Basic emphasis will be given to the anatomy of the head and neck region and technique of neck dissections. It will be an excellent beginning for students interested in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, and plastic surgery. The service has many educational activities including grand rounds, journal club, research meetings, and floor rounds. There will be ample opportunity for students to have discussions with attending surgeons. Students who are so inclined will have an opportunity to undertake a clinical research project.

Learning Objectives 


  1. Assist on complex surgeries in the OR including ablative and reconstructive procedures for head and neck, and thyroid cancers.

  2. Learn perioperative care of complex head and neck surgical patients.

  3. Perform a comprehensive examination of the head and neck including flexible laryngoscopy.

  4. Explain and interpret the medical literature pertinent to specific issues of head and neck cancer care.

Suggested Literature

The textbook Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, 4th edition, by Jatin P. Shah

For the program calendar, please see the elective module dates section of our website.

Sponsor(s)