Vanderbilt University Medical Center
1215 21st Avenue South, Suite 7209
Medical Center East – South Tower
Nashville, TN 37232-8605
|Number of Fellowships: 2
Duration (in years) / Type: 1 year / Clinical
Overview: The Vanderbilt University Medical Center Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery provides advanced clinical training in head and neck oncology, microvascular construction, skull base surgery, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, and transoral robotic surgery (TORS).
Objectives: Our fellowship/instructorship is a one year program designed to accomplish these major factors:
- Increase proficiency in thyroid and parathyroid surgery and treatment.
- Increase proficiency in cranial base surgery.
- Increase proficiency in microvascular reconstructive surgery.
- Increase proficiency in robotic surgery.
- Increase proficiency in multimodality care of the head and neck oncologic patient.
- Prepare the physician for an academic career in head and neck oncologic surgery.
Strengths: Vanderbilt serves as the premier referral center for advanced head and neck cancer patients in the Southeast. Fellows gain extensive experience in the management of such patients. Our collaborative team-based approach gives the fellow the opportunity for close interaction with leaders in medical and radiation oncology, speech and swallow therapy, neurosurgery, and thoracic surgery. Fellows also gain experience handling the unique needs of the veteran population through our collaboration with the Veteran’s Administration Hospital.
Finally, two medical mission trips to low-resource countries (usually Haiti, Kenya or Uganda) occur each year and each fellow participates in at least one of those trips.
Eligibility: Candidate must complete residency in Otolaryngology, and be board certified or board eligible. Additionally, fellows must be able to:
(1) obtain an unrestricted Tennessee Medical License. At least one year of training in an AMA accredited program in the United States is required for International MD licensure in the state of Tennessee. Requirements for Tennessee Full Medical Licensure are available at http://health.state.tn.us/boards/Me/applications.htm
(2) obtain a Tennessee DEA. Information on requirements for DEA registration can be found at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugreg/reg_apps/index.html
and (3) provide proof of citizenship or Visa status (if applicable). Visa information (if applicable) should be provided with the application. Please note all of the requirements and be advised that we do not sponsor visas for fellows. The visa you would need to independently acquire must permit you to work and may not be a student visa as this position requires teaching. For Visa information, please consult the US State Department website.
Fellows’ Duties/Responsibilities: Each fellow is expected to become proficient in all areas of head and neck extirpative and reconstructive surgery. The two fellows alternate their clinical responsibilities every two months. One rotation involves working primarily with Dr. Netterville and participating in all aspects of the care of his patients. This comprises a wide variety of malignant and non-malignant neoplasms of the upper aerodigestive tract, skull base, salivary glands, endocrine glands and neurovascular structures of the head and neck.
During the alternate rotation, the fellow works with Drs. Sinard, Rohde, and Mannion with a partial emphasis on microvascular reconstruction. On average the head and neck team performs 100-120 free tissue transfers yearly, which are split between the fellows. During the rest of the week the fellow on this rotation participates in a similar variety of head and neck cases with each of these three faculty members.
All fellows have appointments as Instructor within the medical center, which allows them to schedule their own cases and take call as an attending. While emergent cases may be staffed by the fellows, the standard that we have set is for this to be rare, so the fellow can focus on learning from the faculty.
Basic science research opportunities are available if requested by the Instructor/Fellow, including the possibility of extending the fellowship to two years.
Our standard one-year fellowship includes a weekly time allotment primarily for clinical research, of retrospective and prospective research, all of which is required to achieve IRB approval, and with the expectation that a publishable manuscript will result. Additionally, many opportunities for contributing to the literature in the form of book chapters, etc. are provided.
Our two-year fellowship comprises one year of clinical fellowship with the same expectations for productive clinical research as with the one-year fellowship, and a second year that is four-fifths basic science research in a dedicated laboratory and one-fifth clinical duties.
Research Opportunities: Fellows work closely with all faculty and other involved head and neck staff to design and execute one or more research projects. A bi-weekly research meeting encourages joint work, and ad hoc meetings are scheduled as needed with team members. Opportunities are provided to collaborate with other members of the Otolaryngology, with all members of the multidisciplinary head and neck cancer team, and with members of Engineering through the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering. The final benchmark for this curriculum area is presentation at a national meeting and publication of peer-reviewed articles.
Supervision, Teaching & Call: At any given time, the head and neck rotation includes a chief resident (PGY-5), two senior residents (PGY-4), one other resident (PGY-2) and one intern. Our head and neck fellows are integrated into this team to optimizing training for all involved. As soon as the surgical and clinical skills of the fellows are established with the faculty, they are expected to act in a supervisory role in the operating room to educate and guide residents (with the exception of free tissue transfer, where the fellow is expected to be the primary surgeon throughout the year). Clinical education of residents and medical students outside of the OR is a continual expectation of the fellows in the clinic, wards, and conferences and is stressed by all four faculty. All fellows are also required to deliver grand rounds once during their fellowship.
One day per week, the fellow is in charge of the head and neck service at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. On this rotation, the fellow is the primary educator and supervising surgeon.
Each fellow is on call one out of every six weekends on average, and serves as the attending on call during these periods.
- Chen Lin, MD – Incoming Fellow
- Dan Sharbel, MD – Incoming Fellow
- 2021 – Kevin John Kovatch, MD – Current Fellow
- 2021 – Catherine Alessandra Colaianni, MD – Current Fellow
- 2020 – William A. Stokes III, MD – Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, West Virginia University Health System.
- 2020 – Sarah Michelle Drejet, MD – Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Utah
- 2019 – Nolan Seim, MD – Assistant Professor of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, Ohio State.
- 2019 – Brian P. Cervenka, MD – Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Cincinnati.
- 2018 – Jo-Lawrence Bigcas, MD – Assistant Professor, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV.
- 2018 – Justin Bond, MD, FACS – Assistant Professor, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS.
- 2017 – Alice Tang, MD – Assistant Professor, Head and Neck & Endocrine Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.
- 2017 – Shethal Bearelly, MD – Assistant Professor, Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
- 2016 – Michael Sim, MD – Assistant Professor, Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN.
- 2016 – Sunshine Dwojak, MD, MPH – Head and Neck Oncology & Microvascular Reconstructive Surgeon, Northwest Permanente, Portland, OR.
- 2015 – John Heaphy, MD – Physician, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center – Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabi.
- 2015 – Kelly Groom, MD – Physician, Head and Neck Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA.
- 2014 – Christopher Fundakowski, MD – Associate Professor, Head and Neck Surgery, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.
- 2014 – Eric Wirtz, MD – Chief, Head and Neck Surgery, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI.
- 2013 – Adam J. Luginbuhl, MD – Associate Professor; Director, Medical Student Education, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Philadelphia, PA.
- 2013 – Benjamin Johnston, MD – Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt Medical Group Franklin – Ear Nose and Throat, Franklin, TN.
- 2012 – Clinton “Casey” Kuwada, MD – Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT; Director, Head & Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Team, Hartford Hospital Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, Hartford, CT.
- 2012 – Christian Hasney, MD, FACS – Assistant Professor, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Tulane University; Site Director, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA.
- 2011 – Alexander Langerman, MD – Associate Professor, Head and Neck Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
- 2011 – Kelly Cunningham, MD – Physician, Head and Neck Surgery, Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL.
- 2010 – Ronald Walker, MD – Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, St. Louis University Health Sciences Center, St. Louis, MO.
- 2010 – Sarah Rohde, MD, MMHC – Associate Chief, Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology; Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
- 2009 – Matthew Old, MD – Associate Professor; Director, Head and Neck Surgery, The Ohio State University Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Columbus, OH.
- 2009 – Freedom Johnson, MD – Director, Head and Neck Oncologic, Reconstructive and Cranial Base Surgery, MetroHealth Medical Center; Assistant Professor, Case Western Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Cleveland, OH.
- 2008 – Nadir Ahmad, MD – Division Head, Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ; Program Director, Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery Residency, Cooper University Hospital; Director, Head & Neck Cancer Program, MD Anderson at Cooper Cancer Center; Associate Professor, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Texas, MD Anderson.
- 2008 – Kyle Mannion, MD, FACS – Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
- 2007 – Francis Ruggiero, MD – Director of Head and Neck Surgery, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA.
- 2007 – Chad Zender, MD, FACS – Professor of Otolaryngology and Associate Chief Medical Officer, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Center of Excellence Co-Leader for Head and Neck Cancer, UC Cancer Institute, UC Health, Cincinnati, OH.
- 2006 – Becky Massey, MD – Associate Professor, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.
- 2006 – Jason Hunt, MD, FACS – Clinical Director, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Huntsman Cancer Hospital; Professor, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.
- 2005 – Scharukh Jalisi, MD – Chief of Otolaryngology, Beth Israel Medical Center, Boston, MA.
- 2005 – Cecelia Schmalbach, MD – David Myers, MD Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University; Director, Temple Head & Neck Institute, Philadelphia, PA.
- 2004 – George Coppit, MD – Director of Head and Neck Surgery, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
- 2004 – Derrick Lin, MD, FACS – Daniel Miller Associate Professor of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery; Director, Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical Center, Boston, MA.
- 2003 – Paul Van der Sloot, MD – Associate Professor, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.
- 2003 – Robert Lorenz, MD – Surgeon, Head and Neck Surgery Section, Head & Neck Institute; Medical Director of Payment Reform, Risk & Contracting, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.
- 2002 – William P. Magdycz, MD – Director of Head & Neck Surgery, Portsmith Naval Medical Center, Portsmith, VA; Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA.
- 2002 – Terry Johnson, MD – Chairman, Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA.
- 2002 – Peter Hunt, MD, FACS – Private Practice, Associates in ENT; Director, Head and Neck/Melanoma Center of Excellence, Memorial Cancer Institute; Attending, Chattanooga Tumor Clinic, Chattanooga, TN.
- 2001 – Garth Olson, MD – Associate Professor, Director of Head & Neck Surgery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
- 2001 – Mumtaz Khan, MD, FACS – Professor, Chair of Otolaryngology, Surgical Subspecialties Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
- 2000 – Alain Sabri, MD, MDH, FACS – Professor, Founding Chair, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery; Assistant Dean, Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon.
- 2000 – Joseph C. Sniezek, MD, MBA, FACS – Medical Director of Head & Neck Endocrine Surgery, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA.
- 1999 – Chris Sullivan, MD – Associate Professor, Head & Neck Surgery, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC.
- 1998 – Frank Miller, MD, FACS – Professor and Chairman; Thomas Walthall Folbre, M.D. Endowed Chair in Otolaryngology; Director, Head and Neck Surgery, UT Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.
- 1997 – Theodoros N. Teknos, MD – Clinical Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine; Deputy Director for University Hospitals, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; President, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Cleveland, OH.
- 1996 – Don Weed, MD, FACS – Professor; Co-Leader, Head and Neck Site Disease Group; President Medical Staff, University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, University of Miami, Miami, FL.
- 1995 – Robert J. Sinard, MD, FACS – Associate Professor & Residency Director, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
- 1994 – William B. Armstrong, MD – Professor, Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA.
- 1993 – John Wanamaker, MD – Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Washington DC VA Medical Center, Washington, DC.
- 1992 – Frank Civantos, MD, FACS – Professor and Director of Head & Neck Surgery, University of Miami, Miami, FL.
- 1991 – John Coniglio, MD – Clinical Associate Professor, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.