An ENT specialist, or ENT surgeon, manages patients with diseases that affect the head and neck, including the ear, nose, and throat.
The Royal Society of Medicine offers a range of events for different surgical specialties, including ENT Surgery – see a full list on our Events page>>
Entry Route into ENT Surgery
Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme before they are eligible to apply for Core Surgical Training. CT1-2 then lasts for two years, and covers a variety of surgical specialities.
Applicants should then complete the MRCS examinations – usually between six months and two years into the training,
After completing the Core Surgical Training, applicants must then apply for ST3 posts to progress to higher speciality training. Trainees must have at least six months’ experience of ENT Surgery before they can apply.
Job Progression as an ENT Surgeon
Higher speciality training in ENT generally takes six years, with the main sub-specialties including
- thyroid and parathyroid surgery,
- head and neck surgery,
- facial plastics, and
- paediatric ENT surgery.
Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as
- a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training,
- a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or
- an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic ENT Surgery Roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. However, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.
Competition for ENT Surgery Posts
In 2017, the competition ratio at ST3 was 1.83, with 126 applications for 69 posts. The competition ratio for Core Surgical Training was 2.56, with 1,608 applications for 629 posts.
In December 2017, there were
- 703 consultants,
- 80 associate specialists,
- 166 speciality doctors,
- 7 staff grades,
- 486 speciality registrars,
- 158 core trainees,
- 132 F2 trainees, and
- 31 F1 trainees.
Salaries in ENT Surgery
The starting salary for junior doctors in England ranges from £26,614 to £46,208, and from £37,923 to £87,521 for speciality doctors. Consultants can expect to earn between £76,761 and £103,490. There are additional supplements for on-call work, antisocial hours, and other commitments. For additional information, please check our page on pay scales.
A Day in the Life of an ENT Specialist
Daily work includes attending ward rounds, reviewing outpatients, and performing surgery. Common surgical procedures include tonsillectomies, endoscopic sinus surgery, insertion of grommets, and tympanomastoid surgery. Additionally, surgeons are expected to teach junior colleagues and medical students, and attend multidisciplinary meetings. On-call rotas may be less intensive than in other surgical specialties, and as only around 15% of patients need treatment with surgery, ENT surgeons spend more time in outpatient clinics than other surgical specialists.