An otolaryngologist deals with the diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. They’re also called ENT specialists. They handle patients of all ages, and it’s an interesting field of practice.
But is it a good career?
Let’s answer that by learning what an otolaryngologist does, to help answer the question – is becoming an otolaryngologist a good career..
What does an Otolaryngologist do?
ENT physicians are trained in the medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT). They may also treat other parts of the head and neck such as the sinus, larynx, and mouth.
The most common problems they treat include:
- Hearing problems
- Ear infections
- Nasal congestion
- Allergies like hay fever, chronic sinusitis, and sore throat
They may also perform facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, laryngology, and other treatments that involve surgeries.
They may be working in a hospital or have their own clinic for medical practice.
For the latter, ENT specialists often use otolaryngology practice management services to ensure they can manage the practice well while also managing the clinic.
Education and Training
To become an otolaryngologist, you have to undergo various stages of education and training.
- Start by attaining an undergraduate degree.
- Follow up with a medical degree.
- After med school, undergo a five-year Otolaryngology Residency recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
- You can pursue a fellowship in your area of expertise after the five-year program.
How Otolaryngologists Work
If you want to be an otolaryngologist, you need to consider the following:
You will spend most of your time in outpatient clinics. You will perform fewer surgeries than other surgeons.
However, operations can range from 15-minute simple procedures to 12-hour head-and-neck reconstructive surgeries.
Still, you will often have reasonable hours of work. As a result, it’s much easier for you to achieve a healthy work-life balance compared to other surgeons and physicians.
Your Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, your job outlook will grow 7% from 2018 to 2028, a lot faster than most other occupations.
Demand for healthcare services is continuing to increase, so job growth will also likely improve in the coming years.
Your wage as a physician and surgeon is also among the highest of all professions. The median wage is around $208,000 per year or $100.00 per hour.
As an ENT specialist, you can choose any of the following work setups:
- Open your medical practice
- Work in a group practice
- Work at a clinic or hospital
You will meet patients with different health complaints daily. Other times, you will face stressful situations, so you need to be adaptable, especially if you’re running a medical practice.
The Pros and Cons
Overall, the pros and cons of being an otolaryngologist as a career boil down to the following.
- Your job outlook is likely going to be good
- Your salary is among the highest of all professions
- You’ll encounter cases to help you grow as a professional
- You get the chance to care for patients of different ages and categories
- Your education and training will be lengthy
- The education and training are stressful and demanding
- The career field is competitive
- The career can be both physically and mentally demanding
If you want to be an otolaryngologist, you should keep these things in mind. Good luck!