18 Tips to Become ENT Specialist

How to become ENT Specialist:  Physicians are integral to health care services.

And the wellbeing of patients across the world.

You may be familiar with general physicians that perform basic treatments.

But sometimes patients need specialists.

Physicians can focus on a number of different roles.

From anesthesiology to surgery and even consultation.

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How to become ENT Specialist

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All physicians go through the same educational requirements.

Including high school, an undergraduate degree, and medical school.

A physician then gets specialized training during a residency period.

There are different licensing and training requirements for each role.

So there is a path for you no matter what you want to focus on as a physician.

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How to become ENT Specialist

1. Gain the job Overview

An ear, nose, and throat (ENTspecialist, or otolaryngologist.

Provides comprehensive medical and surgical care for patients.

With diseases and disorders that involve or affect the ears, nose, throat.

And related structures of the head and neck.

Fifty percent of all physician office visits are for ear, nose, and throat illnesses.

Many ENT specialists operate in private practices.

And some work in large academic/university settings.

Where they help train medical students and residents.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery represents approximately 12,000 ENT specialists.


How to become ENT Specialist

2. Get your high school diploma or GED.

While you’re in high school, focus on classes that prepare you to work as a physician.

Science classes like biology and chemistry are always good options.

Consider also taking advanced math classes like calculus and statistics.

Finally, look into communications classes.

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So you are better able to communicate with other medical professionals and patients.

  • If you don’t graduate high school, you can get a GED instead.
  • It’s an official test meant to show that you have a high school education.
  • Take AP classes when possible.
  • These advanced classes look impressive on a college application form and often transfer into college credit.

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3. Earn a 4-year undergraduate degree in college.

Most universities don’t have an official pre-med study program.

It is up to you to choose a program that best prepares you for medical school.

Most pre-med students choose to major in biological sciences.

Some other options include physical sciences, math, social sciences, and humanities.

If you need help choosing a major.

Speak with an academic advisor to ensure you end up taking classes.

That will prepare you to work in the medical field.

  • Pre-med is just a term used for students who intend on going to medical school.
  • That means you can take a major you enjoy and will succeed in before going to medical school.
  • Some schools offer combined undergraduate and medical programs.
  • These programs last 6 to 8 years and net you both a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree.

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4. Study science and other requirements for medical school.

The average medical school program requires a year of study in biology.

2 years in chemistry, and 1 year in physics. In addition, take a year of English.

Some programs require you to also take a year of math.

These are the basic prerequisites you should take.

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While earning your undergraduate degree to prepare for medical school.

  • Talk to your academic advisor. Let them know that you want to be a physician.
  • They will guide you toward the classes you need.
  • Medical school is competitive.
  • So further your undergraduate studies to increase your chances of getting accepted.

5. Volunteer to gain extracurricular experience in the medical field.

Many aspiring physicians volunteer at local hospitals and clinics.

Tell your supervisors that you’re a pre-med student planning on becoming a physician.

It makes them more likely to assign you to a role directly related to the specialty you plan on pursuing.

  • Ask your academic supervisor to help you find volunteering opportunities in your area.
  • Let them know what specialty you plan on pursuing.
  • Some pre-med students also join scientific research opportunities.
  • Such as through college or corporate programs.

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6. Take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).

Universities use the MCAT to determine who to accept into their medical programs.

Take the test during your senior year of college.

It is a long test covering subjects like biology, chemistry, psychology, and critical thinking.

Most medical programs will only admit you if you score well on the MCAT.

  • Go to the Association of  Medical Colleges (AMC) website for more information about the MCAT.
  • There, you can submit your MCAT score to most universities with a simple application.
  • If you don’t do well on the MCAT, you can always take it again at a later date.
  • You are allowed to take it 3 times a year and 7 times total.

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7. Earn your medical degree (MD) through a 4-year graduate program.

The first 2 years of the program consist of coursework covering topics like pathology, biochemistry, and law.

During the last 2 years, you get to work in a hospital or clinic.

It is similar to an internship.

It includes specialty areas like neurology and radiology.

So you can get a better idea of what role you would like to pursue.

  • Your final year is when you determine what kind of specialist you want to be.
  • During this time, you transition to a residency to practice your specific specialty.

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8. Attend a 3 to 7-year residency program in your specialty.

After graduating from a medical program, begin gaining experience in your chosen specialty.

Hospitals and clinics run residency programs, so apply with them.

It is a very competitive process, so you may not get the residency you desire right away.

Some specialties can also be more difficult to get into.

Depending on what opportunities are available in your area.

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And how many other people are applying for them.

  • If you don’t get into your chosen residency right away, you may need to apply elsewhere, wait for new opportunities to open up, or switch specialties.
  • Some examples of specialties include pediatrics, neurology, and cardiology. Some physicians choose to transition into specific fields, such as becoming a surgeon or psychiatrist.
  • The length of the residency program depends on the specialty you choose. If your specialty involves surgery, for instance, the residency will probably be at least 5 years.
  • Physicians often transition to a full-time role after completing residency requirements. If you wish to move on, you can apply for employment at other places instead.

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How to become ENT Specialist

9. Take a licensing examination to become a certified physician.

If you’re from Nigeria, take the Nigerian Medical Licensing Examination (NMLE).

Check the NMLE for more information on taking the test.

It’s a 3-part test that covers general medical knowledge as well as communication skills.

Most of it is done on a computer.

  • The best time to take the exam is usually in the final year of your residency.
  • The parts of the test are considered separate, so you don’t have to retake one if you fail another. You can take each part up to 6 times, or 3 times in a year.

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10. Apply for a physician’s license with your state or national government.

If you’re from the U.S., for example, apply with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in your state. Each ABMS consists of 24 different boards covering the various specialties a physician can practice.

After selecting your specialty, apply to the board responsible for it.

Submit the result of your licensing exam to the board to become certified.

  • For example, your state might have boards covering emergency medicine, obstetrics, and anesthesiology. There are separate licenses for each specialty.
  • In most areas, you can practice as a physician without official certification. However, having that certification opens up many additional job opportunities

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How to become ENT Specialist

11. Complete a 1 to 3-year fellowship if it is necessary for your specialty.

Some physicians take extra training for complex specialties. A fellowship is very similar to a residency and takes place in hospitals and clinics. Apply to a treatment center involved with your medical specialty. The additional training will help you learn more about your field and how to be a great physician.

  • Note that fellowships aren’t always necessary. They can be useful for subspecialties like pulmonology, cardiology, or trauma surgery.
  • Fellowship programs are usually difficult to find in rural areas, so consider if focusing on a specific specialty fits your lifestyle.

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12. Complete additional educational courses to stay certified.

Things change in medicine all the time.

For that reason, licensing boards often require physicians to take extra courses before renewing their certifications about every 10 years.

The requirements will differ from area to area, so consult the nearest licensing board.

The renewal process includes taking online or in-person classes to refresh your knowledge and get updates on new advancements in your specialty.

  • Many specialized physicians have to earn a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) from the ABMS.
  • It includes a certification exam similar to the one you take when initially earning your license.

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How to become ENT Specialist

13. Get the job Description

The most common afflictions we face are of the ears, nose and throat.

The doctor who specializes in the treatment of these three vital organs is known as an E.N.T. specialist or an otolaryngologist.

To read more about this kind of doctor, read the otolaryngologist job description.

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14. How to become ENT Specialist

Like mentioned above, the ears, nose and throat get affected a lot.

Especially for the people who live in urban areas.

The pollution level is more in the urban areas.

Germs enter the body easily in such areas.

The ears, nose and throat, when exposed to these germs get infected.

Therefore, a specialist doctor like an otolaryngologist treats the sickness.

There are many different kinds of affliction.

The otolaryngologist specializes in knowing these afflictions and their treatment.

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15. How to become ENT Specialist

The tonsils present in the throat are said to be the guards of the body.

Any disease first has to go past the tonsils.

The tonsils then immediately catch the infection causing a sore throat.

The otolaryngologist treats the throat and the tonsils.

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However, if the tonsils are causing problems, they can also recommend a tonsillectomy.

Regarding nose, the most frequent disease they treat is the common cold.

They also treat other nose related problems like sinus.

For the ears, they treat infections and also carefully treat the ear drum if there is any infection on it.

The ears are extremely delicate and have to be handled with care.

Hence, the otolaryngologist treat the ear extra carefully as any damage to it could be irreversible.

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16. How to become ENT Specialist

They treat patients from all age groups.

Hence, they have to know the different kinds of medicines.

Which are specially made for different age groups.

Otolaryngologists are the oldest form of doctors.

This field has existed from a long time since. E.N.T. problems have affected mankind for many years.

So the very first doctors specialized in treating them.

The otolaryngologists need to have specialized equipment to carefully analyze the three body parts as they are not easily accessible.

These instruments project a magnified image of the affected area and the doctor can see it clearly.

There is lot more that an otolaryngologist does, to know it all, read the otolaryngologist job description.

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17. Know their Duties and responsibilities 

  • Otolaryngologists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of ears, nose and throat
  • They have to treat the problem but they investigate about the root cause of the infection if it is recurring
  • They investigate if the problem is occurring because of an allergy because allergic problems keep recurring and normal medicines only provide temporary relief
  • They inform the patients of the precautions they have to take
  • In cases of severe damage, they can recommend surgery to the patients
  • They have to make charts about the history of all the patients so it they can be used for reference
  • They have to write the prescriptions for the medication and provide them directions on how to take those medications
  • They have to build good relations with all their patients

Otolaryngologists make a lot of money as ears, nose and throat problems are the most common illnesses we all face. Their education is similar to other doctors, but they chose their specialization when they are in medical school.

General otolaryngologists do not limit their practice to any one portion of the head and neck.

And can treat a variety of conditions.

Some ENT specialists, however, pursue additional training in one of these subspecialty areas:

  • Ear (otology/neurotology)—Hearing and balance are critical to how we conduct our daily lives. ENT specialists treat conditions such as ear infection, hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ears (called tinnitus), ear, face, or neck pain, and more.
  • Nose (rhinology)—Our noses facilitate breathing by helping to keep out potentially harmful dirt, allergens, and other agents. In addition to allergies, ENT specialists treat deviated septum, rhinitis, sinusitis, sinus headaches and migraines, nasal obstruction and surgery, and more.

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    How to become ENT Specialist

  • Throat (laryngology)—Disorders that affect our ability to speak and swallow properly can have a tremendous impact on our lives and livelihoods. ENT specialists treat sore throat, hoarseness, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), infections, throat tumors, airway and vocal cord disorders, and more.
  • Head and Neck/Thyroid—The head and neck include some of our body’s most vital organs, which can be especially susceptible to tumors and cancer. In addition to cancers of the head and neck, ENT specialists treat neck masses, Grave’s disease, enlarged thyroid glands, and more.
  • Sleep—Being able to breathe and sleep well through the night has an impact on the way we experience life and perform our work. ENT specialists treat sleep-disordered breathing, nasal and airway obstruction, snoring and sleep apnea, and more.

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    How to become ENT Specialist

  • Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery—Facial trauma and the resulting change in appearance caused by an accident, injury, birth defect, or medical condition side effect can be distressing. ENT specialists in facial plastic surgery treat cleft palates, drooping eyelids, hair loss, ear deformities, facial paralysis, trauma reconstruction, head and neck cancer reconstruction, and revisions of facial cosmetic surgery.
  • Pediatrics—Children and their developing bodies and senses often need special attention. ENT specialists treat birth defects of the head and neck, developmental delays, ear infection, tonsil and adenoid infection, airway problems, asthma and allergy, and more.

How to become ENT Specialist

  • Try reading about and exploring various specialties to get an idea of which ones you like. Ask professional physicians if you can shadow them for a day so you can get a first-hand view of their work.

  • You get plenty of experience with different specialties while you’re in med school. You don’t have to choose one before then.

  • The medical field is very competitive, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get accepted to med school or pass a test right away. Keep trying!

  • Medical school admission officers look for people with plenty of experience and a strong educational background. Preparing for medical school in advance increases your chances of getting admitted to a program.


I like to say that ENT specialists treat pretty much everything from the collarbone up, except for the brain and eyes. So much of this work, medical and surgical, affects how people perceive themselves as human beings, and it is a unique privilege to care for my patient’s ENT health due to the personal and profound nature of this specialty.

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