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Since its inception in 1965, the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington has demonstrated a consistent commitment to resident research training.

It is the mission of the department to provide training for academic otolaryngologists. This goal is complemented by our NIH training grant, which incorporates basic science and clinical research support for all residents.

Over our 25-year experience as a NIH Training Grant site, we have been pleased by our measurable success in resident research training. Since our first Training Grant year (1984), 64% of all OTO-HNS residents graduating from our University of Washington Training Program have become faculty in full-time academic positions.

Numerous goals provide the rationale for our Research Training Program. Paramount among them is the systematic refinement of the trainee’s critical thought process and the development of research skills that will lead to a research oriented and productive career in academic medicine. It is the intent of this program to:

  1. Expose our residents early in their training to the scientific method, including the logic of prospective study and experimental design;
  2. Teach acceptance of critical and supportive input from their peers and mentors;
  3. Provide exposure to issues and methodologies at the cutting edge of biomedical fields related to Otolaryngology and Communication Disorders;
  4. Expose trainees to the importance of sustained research programs for attaining lasting, important understanding; and
  5. Instill the concept of lifelong questioning as a source for personal educational development and as a vehicle for contributing to the advancement of biomedical knowledge.

Scientifically trained investigators are essential to our Research Training Program. In 1986, the Department recruited a new Director of Research, Edwin W Rubel, PhD. Under Dr. Rubel’s influence and guidance, the research-training faculty in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has expanded dramatically. We now include 15 full-time, on-site PhD research faculty, three MD/PhD, and two MD/MPH.

The intensive research training experience within the department is coupled with the University of Washington’s own leadership in research. The UW is one of the top three schools in the country in NIH funded research support and is an international leader in genomics and bioengineering. Our residents may select a mentor in any appropriately funded laboratory in the University system. Resident research has been pursued in a host of laboratories including: the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UW Center for Cost and Outcomes Research, UW Center for Bioengineering, UW Center for Biomaterials, and VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence.

From the department standpoint, active research efforts concentrated into the training grant year, with additional time during the R3 research block allows for development of a full project for publication(s), and for pilot data for a grant which is of key importance for academic physicians who wish to have their research up and running with the start of their first job. The department mission assures that research training and implementation of research into all phases of the residency provide for graduates prepared to be translational researchers and academic otolaryngologists.


  The 2003 NIH Competitive Renewal critique of our research training program offered the following comments:  
"The success of this program to produce basic and clinical academicians is second to none."
"From an administrative, scientific, and training perspective, this program must be considered one of the best, if not the best, in the country."
"The training environment including the institutional commitment, the quality of the facilities in the various laboratories, and the availability of research support are outstanding."
"The UW is one of the top three schools in the country in NIH funded research support and is an international leader in genomics and bioengineering."

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