Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Residency Program Overview

Our residency training program in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery is devoted to the task of educating and training physicians to function independently as specialists in the field. The residency program, which has met the rigorous standards set by the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), is based in Stony Brook Medicine's Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

Stony Brook Medicine has a deep and longstanding commitment to resident education, and provides an environment that is well-suited to the training of residents.

The governing philosophy of our residency program is to train physicians to be competent in all aspects of the specialty. This includes learning to diagnose medical problems of the head and neck, acquiring surgical skill in this complex area, mastering the fundamental knowledge of this specialty and related specialties, and gaining first-hand experience with basic science.

Faculty and Facilities


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Our ENT Faculty: (l to r) Drs. Sidrah M. Ahmad, Lukasz Czerwonka, Melissa M. Mortensen, Ghassan J. Samara, and David A. Schessel.


Our faculty have broad expertise in the entire spectrum of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery procedures. Our multi-specialty team of physicians comprises: David A. Schessel, MD, PhD, chief of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery; Sidrah M. Ahmad, MD; Lukasz Czerwonka, MD; Melissa M. Mortensen, MD, residency program director; and Ghassan J. Samara, MD.

In addition to their clinical work, our faculty are committed to scholarly activity; see selected faculty publications (2000–).

The outpatient facility of the Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery is located in a spacious extramural location. The facility includes 11 rooms equipped for basic examination and otomicroscopy; four mobile videotowers; two endoscopy suites which include rhinologic, otologic, and laryngeal telescopes, flexible fiberoptic endoscopes, stroboscopy, and video and still photography; and a minor operating room with a carbon dioxide laser equipped for outpatient OR surgery. In addition, faculty see patients at the Advanced Specialty Care Center in Commack, NY, 15 miles from University Hospital.

The Speech, Language and Hearing Department is located in the adjacent outpatient area. Comprehensive audiologic and speech pathology services are provided, which include standard audiometry, ABR, ENG, OAE, computerized rotational chair, and so forth. The Physical Therapy Department, located in the same building, provides vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

The Program

The residency program consists of a specialized year of rotations (i.e., six months of otolaryngology, one month of plastic surgery, one month of oral and maxillofacial surgery, one month of neurosurgery, one month of anesthesia, one month of surgical critical care, and one month of trauma surgery), followed by four years of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery (read more). All rotations occur at University Hospital and the ambulatory and clinic facilities of the Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Upon completion of the residency program, we expect our trainees to be ready to enter into clinical practice, into fellowship training, or into basic medical or clinical research.

While our program is new and relatively small, our division has a history of training residents in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. We expect the program to continue to grow in size. The residents in our program gain a broad-based training in all aspects of the specialty. University Hospital is a tertiary referral center, and as such, residents participate in the care of patients with complex problems.

Since this is a small program, residents are expected to work hard and to be flexible in their roles and responsibilities. The program is not rigidly hierarchical — residents are expected to work closely as a team. In exchange for this flexibility, residents are introduced early to some of the more advanced areas of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery.

Lastly, applicants to our program should be self-starters, persons who are capable of working independently while being part of a team, and who are able to organize their time and their study habits efficiently.

If you have any questions regarding our residency program, please do not hesitate to contact program director Dr. Melissa M. Mortensen at 631-444-8410.