Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Fellowship

The Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery offers five fellowships

1) Advanced Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction

This fellowship is accredited by the American Head and Neck Society and the Canadian Association of Head and Neck Surgical Oncologists.


Overview: The Fundamental Components of the Fellowship are as follows:

  1. The fellow will participate in the evaluation, management and care of a minimum of 400 head and neck neoplasm cases (benign or malignant, including endocrine and salivary gland).
  2. Participation in a minimum of 300 surgical procedures, representing the full scope of head and neck surgical oncology.
  3. Participation in approximately 30-40 transoral robotic surgical (TORS) procedures on oropharyngeal malignancies.
  4. Intensive exposure to the interdisciplinary management of head and neck oncologic patients (regular tumor board participation).
  5. Participation in the development and implementation of head and neck oncologic research.

Objectives: The goal of this Fellowship is to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary training to individuals who are committed to a career in head and neck surgical oncology.  The fellowship training will provide a broad exposure to the full range of clinical problems encountered in a tertiary head and neck oncology practice.  Upon completion of a one-year fellowship, the surgeon will possess the following characteristics:

  1. Expertise in the multidisciplinary management of patients with head and neck cancer.
  2. Knowledge and skills in skull base surgery.
  3. Knowledge and skills in microvascular free flap reconstruction.
  4. Board-based knowledge and comprehension of principles of: radiation oncology, medical oncology, maxillofacial prosthetics, oncologic nutrition, head and neck pathology, diagnostic radiology/nuclear medicine and rehabilitation of speech and swallowing.
  5. Expertise in conservation and surgical procedures.
  6. Judgment and ability to perform complex tumor resections and an understanding of the technical limitations of the procedures.
  7. Comprehension of head and neck cancer biology.
  8. Appreciation of scientific methodology, study design, clinical trials and data analysis.
  9. Ability to practice effectively in an academic, tertiary care setting and to participate in medical education and translational research.

Strengths: The Advanced Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction Fellowship at the University of Alberta provides a high volume experience in the treatment of patients. In addition to resections, the fellow can expect to perform a minimum of 150 microvascular reconstructions in their one-year fellowship. The fellow will also be exposed to a wide variety of transoral surgical approaches to oropharyngeal cancers including transoral robotics (TORS).  Research opportunities are available and encouraged.  Involvement in our prospective functional outcomes lab is expected and will provide an excellent opportunity to learn an appropriate and comprehensive approach to treating patients in a manner to provide optimal function and survival.

Fellows’ Duties/Responsibilities: Completion of an Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, General Surgery, or General Plastic Surgery residency training program. Documented experience and ability in the management of head and neck cancer patients, through letters of reference and the applicants’ personal statement, are required. Successful completion of an interview with the Fellowship Director is also required. Ideally, this will include a one or two week elective at the University of Alberta hospital. This will allow the candidate an opportunity to evaluate the program as well as allowing the faculty an opportunity to evaluate the candidate.

Research Opportunities: It is expected that all fellows will be involved in clinical research projects and participate in the presentation/publication of the results. It is recommended that fellows in 24-month programs should have dedicated (protected or block) time available for laboratory research.

There is a strong expectation for research productivity from the Head and Neck Oncology Fellow. At the very least, we expect publication of one paper and a presentation at our Canadian Society of Otolaryngology meeting. Our preference is to have multiple publications as well as several presentations over the course of the year. There is dedicated research time for the fellow, giving them a minimum ½ day a week available for academic and research activities.


The Advanced Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction Fellowship’s goal is to train surgeons for academic careers in Head and Neck Oncology.  All of our fellows have gone on to careers in academic medicine. Contact information for prior fellows is available through the program director and we encourage candidates to contact our fellows to discuss the fellowship experience.

For further information, contact:

Dr. Dan O'Connell,
1E4.31 WC Mackenzie Centre,
8440 - 112th Street,
Tel: 780-407-7250
Email: dan.o'connell@albertahealthservices.ca

2) International Head & Neck Surgery Outreach Program – Visiting Scholar: 

This fellowship is supported and funded through the Alberta Head and Neck Center for Cancer and Reconstruction (AHNCOR). This fellowship is open to all International candidates with fellowship and/or board certification (or national equivalent) in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery; General Surgery; Plastic Surgery, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery or other related discipline and who are eligible for teaching license through the University of Alberta. Preference will be given to candidates currently practicing in and planning on returning to regions or countries currently under-serviced in the area of Head & Neck Surgery.

Goals and Objectives:
1. Provide an excellent academic opportunity to foster and develop specialized skills in Head & Neck Surgery and reconstruction.
2. Develop trained sub-specialists who will contribute to the ongoing development of head and neck surgery in their home country.
3. Foster and develop surgical educators in head & neck, and reconstructive surgery programs, with special priority given to people returning to academic programs.
4. Encourage and develop new skills in head & neck / reconstructive surgery through participation in basic science, clinical trials, and clinical research ventures.

For further information, contact:

Dr. Dan O'Connell,
1E4.31 WC Mackenzie Centre,
8440 - 112th Street,
Tel: 780-407-7250
Email: dan.o'connell@albertahealthservices.ca

3) Rhinology / Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery

This fellowship will provide a broad experience in Rhinology with focus on complex and revision endoscopic sinus surgery as well as the extended applications of endoscopic techniques including minimally invasive approaches to the skull base, management of neoplasms, endoscopic pituitary surgery, and orbital decompression. Academic activities will include clinical or basic science research as well as teaching responsibilities for trainees in otolaryngology.

Application deadline is Feb 1 of the year prior to beginning the fellowship. Applications are accepted via the SF Match.

For further information contact:

Dr. Erin D. Wright
1E4 Walter MacKenzie Centre
8440 - 112 Street
Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7
Tel: 780-407-7656
Email: erin.wright@ualberta.ca

4) Pediatric Otolaryngology

The Pediatric Otolaryngology Clinical Fellowship at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, University of Alberta in Alberta, Canada has been in place since 2004. The first fellow started in October 2004, and his successors have since followed his footsteps. We aspire to enhance our educational role nationally and internationally.


The fellowship position requires the applicant to have completed residency training in Otolaryngology and to have successfully passed licensing examinations in their country of origin. The fellowship is open to Canadian, as well as non-Canadian trained Otolaryngologists. Foreign medical graduates must be able to obtain a training Visa for Canada and an educational license for Alberta. It is important to note that as per The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, unless exempt, candidates are required to have completed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic version within 24 months, as noted on their website.

Description of Services:

The service is a busy subspecialty in the Stollery Children’s Hospital. While existing as a service under the jurisdiction of the Department of Pediatric Surgery and closely tied to the Department of Pediatrics, its educational, training and academic mission is primarily guided by the division of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS). The vast majority of the services are delivered in the Stollery, we cover all city hospitals and visits may be made to the other neonatal intensive care units.

A broad range of surgical repertoire is offered; open and endoscopic structural and functional airway procedures, cochlear implantation, mastoidectomies and tympanoplasties, saliva control procedures, sleep nasopharyngoscopy guided surgery, endoscopic nasal procedures, and developmental and oncological neck surgery. Multidisciplinary cases with other Pediatric surgeons, adult Skull-base surgeons and OHN surgeons are often undertaken. Joint endoscopic assessments along with pediatric Pulmonologists and Gastroenterologists are commonly undertaken for swallowing disorders and complex children with respiratory multi-factorial disease.

A number of Multidisciplinary collaborations and Clinics exist:

  1. Complex Pediatric Airway reconstruction team
    • Aerodigestive & Aspiration Clinics
    • Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic
    • Tracheostomy Clinic
    • Voice Clinic
    • Upper Airway Clinic
    • Cochlear Implant clinic
    • Vascular Malformations clinic

Research Scope and Activity:

Despite the overriding clinical nature of the training program, clinical research is desirable and encouraged. The Research Director, Dr. El-Hakim, guides and supervises the process; from the inception, planning and allocation stages to the execution and analysis. Monthly meetings for monitoring research progress are expected. The critical appraisal journal club serves as a hunt for ideas with structured literature searches and evaluations directed at clinical problems seen on a regular basis in the center.

For further information contact:

Dr. Hamdy El-Hakim
2C3.59 Walter MacKenzie Centre 
8440 - 112 Street
Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7
Tel: 780-407-8629
Email: hamdy.elhakim@albertahealthservices.ca

5) International Fellowship in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics

Established in 2014, the International Fellowship in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics is run through the Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, at the University of Alberta. Our first candidate was accepted in January 2014. We currently accept one new fellow per year.

Dr. Martin Osswald

1W-02, 16940–87 avenue
Edmonton, AB  Canada T5R 4H5

Tel: 780-735-2660
Email: martin.osswald@ahs.ca