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Department Website:

Faculty Member Contacts

Rupali (Pali) Shah, MD
Associate Professor

Christine DeMason, MD
Assistant Professor, Director of Medical Education

Robert Buckmire, MD
Professor, Vice Chair of Education

FAQs/Course Recommendations/Additional Info

How do students get assigned a career goal advisor?
If you are interested in learning more about otolaryngology-head & neck surgery as a specialty please reach out to Dr. Rupali (Pali) Shah or Dr. Christine Demason. If you are seriously considering applying for residency in Otolaryngology – head & neck surgery, please consult with Dr. Rupali (Pali) Shah.

What should my Individualization Phase look like?

Recommended Courses:

AI/Acting InternshipCC/Critical CareACS/Advanced Clinical SelectiveElectives
OTOL 452- AI at central campus in otolaryngology, head & neck surgery, consider second AI as non-OHNS, similar to specialties as belowSURY 422, SURY 426, NEUR 408 or 451, SURY 462, or any medical ICU CCanesthesia, oral and maxillofacial surgery, radiology, pulmonary, plastic surgery, hem/onc, rad/onc1-2 away rotations in otolaryngology, neuroradiology, other options with career overlap: anesthesia, oral and maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, pulmonary, plastic surgery, hem/onc, rad/onc, gastroenterology

Do all my rotations need to be in ENT?

Should I do an away rotation?  What in?
Yes, in ENT.

Do I need a rotation at UNC if I spent my time in Charlotte/Asheville/Wilmington?
Yes, at least the AI and often it is helpful to do an elective in ENT prior to the AI to meet the department and get experience in ENT.

When do I need to meet with my career goal advisor?  How do I prepare?
As soon as you are interested in ENT – the sooner the better.  Make sure to bring your CV.

How many letters of recommendation do I need?  From whom should I get them?
At least three but most people do four.  Typically, one is from the department chair and the others are often from other ENT attendings.  May people get one from their away rotation.

When do I ask for my letters?  What do they need?
Often people ask on their AI – asking earlier is always better.  Often you will need to give your CV and sometimes your personal statement to the person you ask.

How do I determine the best programs I should apply to?
Talk to the ENT residents and attendings.  Do research on the programs and think about what matters most to you (location, size of program, etc.).

I just got this great piece of news…do I need to notify programs
If it would really elevate your CV it may be helpful to write letter but not necessary.

My LORs aren’t in, and ERAS just opened!
Always ask for letters early.  Make sure to reach out to the attending to remind them to get them in on time.

I am waitlisted for an interview at X and I’d really like to see that program.  What do I do?
Reaching out to the program helps as well as having one of the ENT attendings reach out to them can also help.

I didn’t get an interview at X program.  Should I send them a “letter of intent”?
Reaching out to the program helps as well as having one of the ENT attendings reach out to them can also help.

Should I send thank you letters to programs?
It can be helpful.

Should I send a letter to the program I am planning to rank #1?
It may help some but not absolutely necessary.

How do I respond if a program reaches out to me after my interview?
Always be polite and respond but don’t make promises that are not true – ENT is a small community.