What Is an ENT Specialist?
An ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical
treatment of the ears, nose throat, and related structures of the head and neck. They have special
expertise in managing diseases of the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral
cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. ENT is
the oldest medical specialty in the United States.
An ENT specialist is ready to start practicing after up to 15 years of college and postgraduate
training. To qualify for certification from the American Board of Otolaryngology, an applicant must
first complete college, medical school (usually four years), and at least five years of specialty training.
Next, the physician must pass the American Board of Otolaryngology examination to be certified. Some
ENT specialists pursue a one- or two-year fellowship for more extensive training in one of the seven
subspecialty areas. These include pediatric otolaryngology (children), otology/neurotology
(ears and balance.), allergy, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, head and neck surgery,
laryngology.(throat) and rhinology (nose). Some ENT specialists limit their practices to one
of these seven areas.
The well trained ENT specialist has a thorough knowledge of all of the organs and physical structures in the head and neck region. Virtually all ear nose and throat specialists routinely handle adenoidectomies, tonsillectomies nosebleeds, ear-aches, hearing loss, dizziness, hoarseness, and sinus disease. The physician's qualifications and inclinations, as well as the community's needs, will influence of an individual's practice. The broad challenges of the specialty allow a choice of direction, in addition to providing the best in patient care.