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What is an ENT Physician?

Doctors and Medical Specialties
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An ENT physician is commonly referred to as an ear, nose and throat doctor. According to the web site, ENT's are the oldest medical specialty in the country. The actual name for the ENT is otolaryngologist, a doctor who focuses on conditions and disorders involving the head and neck. That would include the ears, nose and throat. This is a practice area that includes surgery, including facial reconstruction surgery or voice therapy.

Education Required for an ENT Physician

It is recommended that students hoping to become ENT physicians focus on science class in college. After receiving a bachelor's degree, the next step is a medical and then a one-year internship before completing medical licensing exams. From there, the new physician applies to residency programs that center around various specialties. The otolaryngology residency usually takes 4 to 5 years and requires surgical training. Physicians can choose to specialize even further, continuing their studies to learn subspecialties such as pediatric ENT or facial reconstruction. These subspecialties can last several more years. Considering subspecialty training, it can take up to 14 years to complete all the studies necessary for a subspecialty in otolaryngology.

Conditions Commonly Handled by an ENT Physician

In the ears, an ENT physician treats the 1 in 10 Americans with hearing loss. They also treat ear infections, balance disorders and facial and cranial nerve disorders.

  • Concerning the nose, ENT physicians are responsible for the care of the sinuses and nasal cavity. Chronic sinusitis hits about 35 million people a year and is the domain of ENT's. Handling the nasal area, which means any issues with the sense of smell.
  • ENT's diagnose and treat conditions and illnesses that involve the throat, which can include cancerous growths.
  • In the head and neck, ENT physicians are called upon to handle a variety of conditions and illnesses, including infectious diseases. They can be called upon to perform reconstructive or cosmetic surgery and to treat cancers or deformities of the face.

Salary of an ENT Physician

The median salary for an ENT physician is $365,171 according to the American Medical Association. That's more than the $236,500 for a Neurologist and the $278,000 paid to a pulmonary disease expert. However, that salary falls short of the $400,591 paid to pediatric and $433,333 for a liver transplant surgeon, for example.

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