Department of Anesthesiology

A Day in the Life: Intern Year ENT Clinic


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Vanessa Hernandez, CA1

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Personally, this was one of my favorite rotations during my intern year! I learned a lot from the ENT residents and was able to do some hands-on procedures.

You usually work Monday - Friday with everyday there being a focus on different topics. For example, Monday would be ear day and people would come in with complaints of hearing loss or vertigo. Then Friday would involve the patients with head and neck cancers, and you would get the opportunity to scope. The day usually starts around 8 a.m. and you go to the little work area that has the designated computers for the residents to use. From there you would go to the front board to see which patients were roomed and put your name near the patient you wanted to assign yourself to. I would then go back, and chart review them real quick to see if they had been there before or if they had any test relating to their exam (ex: an audio test for a person complaining of hearing loss). From there you see your patient and ask any pertinent questions. There is a lot of Spanish-speaking patients so if you do happen to speak Spanish, I would try to get certified as an interpreter if not no worries there is a phone in every room with the interpreter on speed dial. At the beginning the interactions tend to take longer because you are not sure what to ask but you can get pretty fast at the end of the rotation since a lot of the problems you get to see over again. From there I would go start my note and come up with a plan based on what the patient had presented with. If I ever had any questions the ENT residents were great and would always answer my questions and help me formulate a plan especially since they knew I was primarily not very knowledgeable about ENT issues. Then I would present to the attending or sometimes the chief resident so I could staff the patient and we would go back into the room to check out the patient together and inform them of the plan.

During the rotation you’ll get to do things like clean a patient’s ears, inject steroids into keloids, perform minor biopsies in clinic, and scope patients that come in with concerns of hoarseness. It was a great opportunity to be more hands-on and practice your skills! The frequent scoping is awesome because you start getting use to how to use a fiberoptic scope which will help come CA-1. 

Take the time to enjoy this month! You generally will get out around 3-4 pm depending on patient load and you also get your weekends free. Use the time you are in clinic to learn as much as you can from the residents/attendings because they will give you some great tips on their perspective in the OR managing airways. It’s also nice to make these connections as you will see them again within a year but in the OR with you as their anesthesiologist.