Residency Application Information

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Technical Standards

Technical standards for Otolaryngology have been established to allow the resident candidate to determine their ability to perform the required duties in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. An otolaryngology resident must have abilities and skills in five categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, behavioral and social. However, it is recognized that degrees of ability vary widely between individuals.


A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. In detail, observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities. Full color vision and binocular vision are necessary for the successful performance of otolaryngologic surgery.


A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. The focus of this communication is to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. Communication includes not only speech, but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written formats with all members of the health care team.


Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatments to patients. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of the touch and vision.

Intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities

These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis of complex information.

Behavioral and social attributes

A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients.

Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent on the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the selection and education process.