Much of what otolaryngologists see in their patients is voice, swallowing, or airway complaints. Because these things are the specialized domain of speech-language pathologists, SLPs are frequently involved in otolaryngology residents’ training. This is variable across training programs, however, and that is a problem not lost on residents themselves, who value it.
A recent study in Arizona’s Mayo Clinic, published in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology (Abdel-Aty Y, et al. 2021 Apr;130(4):377-381. doi: 10.1177/0003489420954879) has articulated this.
It was a cross sectional, multi-institution study to assess the educational exposure of residents in laryngology. Most respondents (89.4%) said that they had SLPs specializing in voice and swallowing disorders in their departments, though only half (51.0%) indicated that they spent formal time with them during training. Analysis of their answers shows that residents with formal training with SLPs are more comfortable interpreting videofluoroscopic swallow studies than residents without. Residents with SLPs in their departments are also more likely to feel confident in terminology that describes different dysphonic voices.
It is clear from trainee otolaryngologists themselves, in other words, that formal time with SLPs in residency programs is a valuable resource in their education.
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