General Information



Vanderbilt Otolaryngology Residency Program: Our Goals


We strive to provide the best otolaryngology education available. We want you to exceed your dreams.


Some key education ingredients to our program include:

  • our special Vanderbilt culture
  • a very extensive surgical experience
  • a unique resident leadership training program
  • novel right brain (imagination) learning in addition to traditional left brain (factual) learning


Introduction to the residency program

The word “doctor” means both “to teach” and “to lead” -  and we take that seriously. We have introduced case-based learning, Bloom’s Taxonomy as a pedagogical education framework, team learning, active learning and retention learning into the Resident educational program. Our didactic methodology has been so well-received that our residents unanimously have partnered to develop a teaching program aimed at maximizing active learning and minimizing passive lecture style teaching.  We have introduced experiential learning with professional actors as well as image-capture methodology. Further, we have not just a very popular Residency Program Director, we also have a Director of Education who has formal training in educational methodology.
We have created a unique Resident Leadership Training program. In our first year, Residents partnered with the Vanderbilt Naval ROTC program for ten hours of experience in organizational leadership. You can read more about this element of our program in the recently published Harvard Business Review/New England Journal of Medicine blog: Mililtary Leadership Lessons for Training Doctors.
The next year we created an 8-hour program on professional speaking and communication. This year we have introduced a micro MBA that will include topics such as strategy, organizational behavior, operations management, finance, leadership and marketing. Next year, all Residents will be tasked with a Capstone Project to tackle a leadership challenge and create a publication worthy product. Since our Leadership Program will be iterative, we will then begin a new 4-year cycle.
To learn more about our innovative educational philosophy, please read:  The Doctor and the Thoroughbreds.
You should know that the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences is home to nearly 500 individuals who provide care, teach, perform research and create outreach for Otolaryngology and Hearing & Speech patients. We are located in an absolutely state-of-the-art facility for outpatient care, plus we use additional wonderful facilities across the campus and the region.  The Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center continues in a growth spurt. We continue to hire many new clinical faculty members. We continue to refine and improve our educational programs. We have a serious and growing commitment to international outreach. We are expanding our already deep research capabilities.
The Vanderbilt faculty lead nationally. Dr. Netterville is the President-elect of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Garrett is the Vice President and President-elect of the American Laryngological Association.  Dr. Haynes is President of The Centurions of the Deafness Research Foundation. Dr. Ossoff is the outgoing President of the Triological Society.
Nashville is a fabulous place to live. The city has plenty of “big city stuff” with the comfort of a smaller town feel. Housing is affordable for Residents. It’s the best of all worlds. Because of the creative music energy in town, people consider it the “Third Coast.”
This is an exciting time for us here at Vanderbilt. All of our programs are growing. Our recent national ranking acknowledgment to be among the most elite Otolaryngology departments in this nation is a reflection of where we are propelling in a department that is only 25 years young.


About Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is the parent institution and headquarters for the Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The Center is composed of the Department of Otolaryngology and the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, with Roland "Ron" Eavey, M.D. serving as the Director of the Bill Wilkerson Center and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology. Vanderbilt University Hospital has over 600 beds. The separate state-of-the-art Monroe Carell Jr. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital was opened in 2004, within immediate proximity to the parent institution has over 200 beds with plans for expansion in the near future . The Center’s Department of Otolaryngology has 18 adult beds and unlimited pediatric beds at the hospitals. Our department has daily operating room time and outpatient clinics which operate five days per week.


Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is consistently ranked in the top fifteen nationally.  Additionally, the school of medicine also ranks in the top ten in NIH funding.  From  2000- 2005, the compound annual growth rate in NIH grant awards to the school of medicine was 17.8%- the fastest growth of all U.S. academic medical centers.  Furthermore, the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center is amongst the top ten in NIH funding, with over $10 million in grants. Our department consistently ranks among the elite departments nationally by U.S. News and World Reports, where most recently, the department is #7, having propelled from #16 in 2009.  The residency program has received continued accreditation. We have also received a rare commendation as a "model" program.  Vanderbilt Medical Center places on the U.S. News and World Reports Honor Roll. Recently, Fortune magazine ranked Vanderbilt University as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For List- the first time ever that an educational institution has made the list.    The Bill Wilkerson Center family also includes Audiology #1  and Speech Pathology #3. The collaborative effort of such outstanding departments is one of many reasons the Bill Wilkerson Center is a premier institute for Otolaryngology and the Communication Sciences.

The Bill Wilkerson Center, which opened in July 2005, occupies approximately 150,000 square feet within the South Tower of Medical Center East. This space includes space for clinical, academic and research activities as well as speech pathology and audiology.  This facility also houses a 12-station temporal bone dissection laboratory with modern equipment, as well as a 2-station microsurgical skills lab. Within the department, there are 29 M.D. clinicians, 4 Ph.D./N.P. clinicians, and 7 dedicated research faculty members. The Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences oversees the Division of Audiology where all audiology and vestibular testing is performed. In addition to conventional audiometry and tympanometry, the audiologists, with residents, carry out ABR, ENG, rotary vestibular testing, otoacoustic emissions, and hearing aid evaluations. Intraoperative facial nerve and auditory system monitoring is performed on all neurotologic skull base cases, and residents attend an Intraoperative Monitoring course during their residency. Our voice speech pathologists actively work with the clinicians performing voice evaluations, electroglottography and objective measurements of voice with aerodynamic studies, nasometry, video endoscopy and stroboscopy. Each resident spends time with the audiologists and speech pathologists as part of the workup of patients referred to them from the outpatient clinic.


The Center’s Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, also located within the South Tower of Medical Center East, is an integral part of Vanderbilt University. This department offers sophisticated services in the area of speech, language and hearing to Metropolitan Nashville, surrounding counties, the state of Tennessee, and the regional areas of the United States . It has ongoing training programs for those attaining graduate degrees in Hearing and Speech Sciences. Anne Marie Tharpe, Ph.D. is Chairman of this department within the Center.

Vanderbilt University Hospital has an active and recently expanded emergency room, which is a level one trauma center with its own helicopters and helipad on the roof of the hospital. Recently, an 11-story, state-of-the-art, critical care tower has opened. The Department of Otolaryngology rotates maxillofacial trauma call with the Departments of Plastic Surgery and Oral Surgery. 


The Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library, located just adjacent to the hospital, contains most of the journals read by the residents in Otolaryngology. The library's extensive electronic communication system allows instant access to literature via Smartphone.


In addition, the Department of Otolaryngology has its own library and receives most of the current journals. Grand Rounds, Morbidity and Mortality conference, Resident Teaching conference and the Basic Science lecture series are held in the Center’s classrooms, which is easily accessible from all of the affiliated hospitals in the program. Animal surgical facilities are located in the Rudolph Light Surgical Labs, immediately adjacent to the hospital and include connection to the hospital via underground tunnel. Animal care is provided by a full-time staff of technicians supervised by the full-time veterinary staff. The Department of Otolaryngology is involved in both large and small animal research, basic science research, laser-related research, audiology research and voice research at this institution.