Otolaryngology is a medical specialization that deals with the ears, nose and throat.
Otolaryngologists are commonly called “ear, nose and throat” doctors, or ENTs.
Doctors in this field can diagnose, treat, and perform surgery on all kinds of ailments related to the ears, nose and throat, so the field is sometimes referred to as “otolaryngology–head and neck surgery.”
Otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the U.S., dating back to the 19th century when doctors discovered the interconnected systems at play between the head and neck. The delicate and complex tissues in this area of the body seemed immediately to warrant a specialization outside of general medicine.
An otolaryngologist undergoes up to 15 years of training between college and post-graduate studies. Many years of training are necessary to understand the networks of tiny, sensitive organs and tissues at work in the head and neck and to learn to operate on them. After study is complete, the doctor passes an examination conducted by the American Board of Otolaryngology, and is then considered ready to practice independently. Even after that, some doctors go on to complete a one- or two-year fellowship in an additional area of specialization, such as neurotology. Specialty Physician Associates staffs expert otolaryngologists and neurotologists to ensure the most cutting-edge, reliable treatments available for all ear, nose and throat anomalies.
When to See an Otolaryngologist
Patients are typically referred to otolaryngologists by other physicians who are able to recognize that a patient is suffering from something that is better-understood by a specialist. An otolaryngologist may go on to refer a patient to a neurotologist, who specializes in ailments related specifically to the inner ear. You may be referred to an otolaryngologist for any of the following concerns: