Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists


Employment Prospects


The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery represents approximately 12,000 ENT specialists. New graduates often join an existing ENT practice, work in hospitals or other health care settings, or start their own practices. Others work in a large academic/university setting, helping train medical students and residents. 

Starting Out

There are no shortcuts to entering the medical profession. Requirements are an M.D. or D.O. degree, a licensing examination, a one- or two-year internship, and a period of residency that lasts at least five years (and seven years if they are pursuing board certification in a specialty). Upon completing this program, which may take up to 15 years, physicians are then ready to enter practice. They may choose to enter a partnership practice, enter a group practice, open a solo private practice, or take a salaried job with a managed-care facility or hospital. Salaried positions are also available with federal and state agencies.

The Association of American Medical Colleges offers advice on applying for a residency at https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-residency/apply-smart-residency.

Advancement Prospects

ENT specialists advance by receiving higher pay, taking on managerial duties, building a strong reputation with patients and colleagues, or by working for larger practices or starting their own practice. ENT specialists in academe advance by publishing their case studies and moving up the departmental ladder, eventually chairing the department.

Tips for Entry

Read Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (https://journals.sagepub.com/home/oto) to learn more about the field.

Conduct information interviews with ENT specialists and ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.

Become board certified in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by the medical profession.