What they do

An otorhinolaryngologist, commonly known as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, is a surgeon trained in the treatment of disorders and conditions of the ears, nose, throat and neck.

Otorhinolaryngologists perform tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, endoscopies, cochlear implantation, and sino-nasal tract surgery. They use surgery to treat facial trauma, congenital disorders, and tumours.

Working conditions

Otorhinolaryngologists usually consult patients in their private consulting rooms and operate in private and public hospitals. They may also supervise and teach medical students and registrars.

They operate in completely sterile theatre rooms and must wear protective clothing. They also work closely with a range of other medical professionals such as anaesthetists, operating theatre technicians and surgical nurses.

Tools and technologies

Otorhinolaryngologists use a range of specialised surgical instruments when operating on patients including retractors, forceps, snares, syringes and hooks. They must also wear sterile surgical attire while operating.

Outside of the operating theatre, otorhinolaryngologists use technologies such as X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, and Computed Tomography (CT) scans to assist in planning appropriate courses of action and to follow up after surgery.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an otorhinolaryngologist, you need to first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in otolaryngology head and neck surgery.

To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To specialise in otolaryngology head and neck surgery, doctors must apply to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) to complete the Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Surgical Education and Training program.

Required registration and licensing

To work as an otolaryngology head and neck surgeon in WA, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia.