The financial value of fellowship training in otolaryngology

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Jun;148(6):906-11. doi: 10.1177/0194599813482094. Epub 2013 Apr 3.


Objective: To evaluate the financial impact of pursuing a fellowship in otolaryngology.

Study design: Retrospective financial analysis using American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery survey data.

Subjects and methods: The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery report, entitled Socioeconomic Study among Members April 2011, gives a financial profile of respondents who reported their primary area of specialization as either general otolaryngology or a specific area of subspecialization. Weighted averages were calculated from the reported data. The weighted averages were used to calculate a net present value (NPV) over a 30-year contiguous career.

Results: The NPV for general otolaryngology was $4.73 million. The NPV for the following subspecialties in relation to general otolaryngology were (in hundred thousands) as follows: otolaryngologic allergy (-$1153), sleep medicine (-$677), otology/neurotology (-$339), laryngology (-$288), head and neck (-$191), pediatric otolaryngology (-$176), facial plastic surgery (-$139), skull base surgery ($122), rhinology ($285), and allergy and immunology ($350). Ninety-four percent of general otolaryngology respondents were in private practice. Most subspecialists worked in an academic setting.

Conclusion: Fellowship training in otolaryngology will affect career earnings of prospective fellows. The overall financial impact of fellowship training, calculating in the delay in receiving a full clinical salary, should be factored into the decision to pursue fellowship training.

Keywords: fellowship; financial value; motivation; otolaryngology; return on investment.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / economics
  • Adult
  • Career Choice*
  • Cost Allocation / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Fellowships and Scholarships / economics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Otolaryngology / economics
  • Otolaryngology / education*
  • Practice Management, Medical / economics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Schools, Medical / economics
  • United States