How to Choose an ENT
How to Choose an ENT ENT doctors are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management of patients with diseases and/or disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck. The medical name for an ENT doctor is an otolaryngologist. Interestingly, otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the United States.
The most important factor to take into account when choosing an ENT is board certification. The largest international certification organization for the treatment of the ear, nose and throat is the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABO). To qualify for certification, physicians must complete a four-year college degree, four years of medical school and at least five years of specialty training; they must then pass a written and oral ABO examination.
Cost and insurance is another important factor to consider. Finding an ENT that is in your network may save you thousands of dollars if you need to have a surgery done.
Experience and training are other factors to look into. Most, if not all, ENT surgeons are trained general ENT surgeons. The most common procedures are ear tube surgery and tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy. Other common procedures include eardrum repair, septoplasty, and sinus surgery. However, some ENT doctors pursue extra training called fellowships in areas such as otology, facial plastics or sleep medicine. This allows them to do more specialized procedures such as complex ear surgeries, reconstructive and cosmetic procedures or robotic surgery of the tongue base. An ENT surgeon can develop a niche within their general ENT practice and be considered a high volume surgeon of a particular procedure. A good example of this would be thyroid surgery. A high volume thyroid surgeon is someone who does at least 25 thyroid surgeries a year. This is important because the extra training and higher number of surgeries performed correlate with lower complication rates and better outcomes.
Finally, an ENT doctor should be someone that takes the time to listen to you and your concerns, gather the information through a thorough history and physical, and come up with a workup and treatment plan that treats your problem, while empowering you, as a patient, to be well informed and involved in the decision making process. Positive word of mouth helps in finding out which ENT doctor is able to achieve this.
Our highly trained and friendly ENT surgeons at Allied ENT Specialty Center deliver individualized, patient-centered care. We work with our partners at The Hearing Clinic to provide comprehensive hearing and ear care. Besides great general ENT services, we offer the latest technology in home sleep studies and are proud to be the first in the area to offer ultrasound guided needle biopsies using molecular markers to help rule out cancer and prevent unnecessary surgery. Please call for an appointment.