The Role of Speech-Language Pathologists in Otolaryngology Resident Education

Yassmeen Abdel-Aty, Sara Charney, David G. Lott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/Introduction: Laryngology is an expanding field that has been increasingly incorporated into otolaryngology resident training programs nationwide. The exposure to the field is variable across training programs, despite the fact that laryngological complaints comprise a large proportion of consultations to otolaryngologists. Laryngology education is vital for the care of patients with voice, swallowing, and airway complaints as well as for the appropriate referral of patients to the laryngology team for specialized care. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) specialized in voice and swallowing disorders are well-trained in the assessment and treatment for these populations. This team recently published a paper regarding the experience of laryngology education in residency. During analysis of the results, an interesting beneficial trend developed regarding the positive impact of exposure to SLPs. This appeared to be distinct and deserved further analysis and discussion. We propose that involving SLPs in resident education may greatly enhance their training in laryngology. Methods: As per our previous paper, a cross sectional, multi-institutional study was designed to assess the exposure of residents to laryngology. Descriptive statistics were obtained for questions involving exposure to SLPs. Fisher’s exact test was used to compare differences between groups. Results: Most respondents (135/151, 89.4%) indicated having SLPs specializing in voice and swallowing disorders in their departments, although only half (77/151, 51.0%) stated that they spent formal time with them during training. Results show that residents with formal training with SLPs were more comfortable interpreting videofluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) (P =.0032). Residents with SLPs in their departments were also more likely to feel confident in terminology to describe different dysphonic voices (P =.0213). Conclusion: Formal time with SLPs within otolaryngology residency programs varies across the country. Speech-language pathologists are a useful resource for laryngology resident training and should be included in their education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-381
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • education
  • otolaryngology
  • residency
  • speech-language pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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