Graduate Medical Education - Residencies and Fellowships



  • Program Administrator: Jeremy Westbrook
    Program Phone: (619) 532-5617
    Welcome to the Naval Medical Center, San Diego (NMCSD) Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Residency Program. Our mission is to provide the highest quality educational experience through delivery of exceptional healthcare services to our patients and by the advancement of military medicine through education, training, and research. We are a leader in medical excellence and innovation, preferred by those we serve and are dedicated to the operation forces around the world. We believe that our staff and residents are our most important assets, that our patients are our main focus and that our success is judged by those we serve.
    Our educational philosophy is based on highly interactive teaching and feedback with progressive responsibility. The program integrates academics and patient care while maintaining a dedicated academic day. Our residents experience wide exposure and are trained in all aspects of otolaryngology.
    The primary experience is gained at NMCSD though rotations in our various otolaryngology services. To ensure a broad spectrum of clinical experience, residents also rotate at Rady Children’s Hospital, Kaiser Permanente of San Diego and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
    The department sponsors academic conferences, didactics and interactive training every Friday. This day includes our preoperative and postoperative conferences as well as additional learning activities including core didactic lectures, interactive seminars, multidisciplinary tumor board, morbidity and mortality conference, anatomy/temporal bone dissection laboratory, journal club, head and neck radiology case conferences, grand rounds with the University of California, San Diego Otolaryngology Department, and pediatric grand rounds with the Rady Children’s Hospital Otolaryngology Department. In addition to clinical rotations, we offer our residents additional courses including the American Academy of Otolaryngology Allergy Basic Course, temporal bone courses, microvascular surgery courses and airway management courses.
    All residents are expected to develop a research project under faculty mentorship. The design of the residency rotation schedule provides protected time to develop research skills and successfully take a project from a question or idea to a completed product. Our residents and faculty routinely present their projects at national conferences. In addition to our local faculty, the department has relationships with a variety of other academic centers across the country.

 Program History

  • Department

    The Department is organized on a single floor and contains the ENT Clinic, Speech Therapy Division, Audiology Division, and an Operating Room staffed by two professional nurses and a corps of surgical technicians. Recently renovated resident offices, a call room, a formal didactic conference room, and kitchen/lounge are also located within the clinic area.
    Additional on-site Medical Center conveniences include a U.S. Post Office, a credit union, two ATMs, two coffee kiosks, a cafeteria serving healthy meals daily, several fast-food establishments, two gymnasiums, and a swimming pool. Naval Medical Center San Diego is also conveniently located beside a major city park and zoo and is within minutes of a host of fine restaurants and upscale shopping.


    The NMCSD Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Residency Program is led by 10 full-time and 2 part time faculty in a range of subspecialties including neurotology, facial plastic surgery, head and neck oncology, laryngology, rhinology, pediatric otolaryngology, comprehensive otolaryngology, speech and language pathology, and audiology. In addition, the program team includes highly trained, specialized physician assistants, speech pathologists, audiologists, and surgical technicians integral to an enhanced teaching and learning environment.


  • ​Our progressive course of study is dispersed across five years of proactive clinical, operative, and research learning through active participation. Residents receive wide exposure to the full breadth of otolaryngology. The residency maintains a strong record of accreditation and was recently commended by the ACGME for our quality improvement practices. In addition to a robust clinical experience, the department enjoys a strong commitment to research pursuits. Faculty and residents receive grant funding through a variety of forums and pursue both basic science and clinical research projects.



  • ​- To learn basic ear, nose, and throat (ENT) medicine and surgery from a symptom-oriented approach.
    - To learn to take a complete ENT history.
    - To learn relevant ear, nose, throat, head, and neck anatomy.
    - To learn treatment of basic ENT problems.
    - To learn to formulate a differential diagnosis for each patient.
    - To learn to recognize airway emergencies.
    - To learn proper use of the flexible fiber optic laryngoscope.

    RESIDENCY CURRICULUM: Contact the Residency Program Administrator by phone at (619) 532-5617 to request detailed post-graduate year and rotation based curricular goals and objectives for Otolaryngology Residency at Naval Medical Center San Diego.


  • Many of NMCSD Otolaryngology’s faculty are recognized published experts and have been invited to speak world-wide on a range of specialty topics at prestigious universities and medical centers. These highly trained and specialized faculty members provide guidance and technical support in research to residents based on individual backgrounds. This tailored approach facilitates scholarly activity among the residents; faculty stand ready to provide support with regard to protected research time, suggest research questions, mentor and review proposals, and to provide guidance on research design and methods. Additionally, faculty members are highly involved in clinical discussion, rounds and conferences designed to advance each resident’s clinical knowledge, investigative skills, and presentation abilities.


 scholarly activity

  • ​Over the past decade, NMCSD Otolaryngology has become one of the world’s leading research laboratories in the military critical areas of hearing, balance, and traumatic brain injury. Over $12 million of research grants have been awarded to the laboratory during that time. Countless man hours and tremendous dedication has led to advancing the fundamental understanding of noise-induced hearing loss and balance disorders. Multiple new inventions, including Navy owned patents, have been awarded for these advances in medical science.
    Over the last four years, over 60 peer reviewed articles have been authored by NMCSD Otolaryngology staff and residents.
    Below is a sampling of some of the articles that have been submitted by our staff and residents.
    Hunsaker D, Leid J.The relationship of biofilms to chronic rhinosinusitis. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery 2008, 16:237-241
    Healy D, Leid J, Sanderson A, Hunsaker D. Biofilms with fungi in chronic rhinosinusitis. Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (2008) 138:641-647
    Hoffer ME, Balough BJ, Gottshall KR. Post-traumatic Balance Disorders. Int Tinnitus Journal, 13 (1), 69-72, 2007.
    Coleman JK, Littlesunday C, Jackson R, Meyer T. AM-111 protects against permanent hearing loss from impulse noise trauma. Hear Res. 2007 Apr;226(1-2):70-8
    Kopke RD, Jackson RL, Coleman JK, Liu J, Bielefeld EC, Balough BJ.NAC for noise: from the bench top to the clinic (Review). Hear Res. 2007 Apr;226(1-2):114-25.
    Ge X, Jackson RL, Liu J, Harper EA, Hoffer ME, Wassel RA, Dormer KJ, Kopke RD, Balough BJ.Distribution of PLGA nanoparticles in chinchilla cochleae. Otolaryngology Head Neck Surg. 2007 Oct;137(4):619-23.
    Cole, SM, Patterson, MB, Cupp CL. Tonsillectomy in the Anticoagulated patient. Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology July 2007.
    Sanderson, A, Gaylis B. Mucosal Malignant Melanoma of the Sinonasal Mucosa: Case reports and Review. ENT Journal. 86(5); 287-294, 2007.
    The NMCSD Otolaryngology Program received a full five-year accreditation without any deficiencies during the last residency inspection in 2006. The Program is currently developing a research curriculum jointly with the Residency Review Committee of the ACGME.
    In April 2008, the department chairman won the top award in the Clinical Investigation Department’s annual Academic Research Competition for his presentation of Acetylcysteine to Prevent Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Military Recruits Otology and Neurotology. His presentation was well received and is one of many fine examples of this department’s dedication to research and its commitment to those we serve.