Health Service Categories and Careers


Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) also known as Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgery, is the medical and surgical speciality concerned with the ears, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck. It studies the anatomy, physiology and pathology related to OHNS. It involves clinical assessment and management, pharmacology, and a range of therapeutic and surgical procedures which help patients with OHNS conditions, which may be acute, congenital, or acquired. It is often divided into the subspecialty areas of otology, rhinology, head and neck, facial plastics, and emergency procedures. Paediatrics and oncology are also important OHNS areas. OHNS services are provided in emergency/inpatient and outpatient departments in hospitals and private clinics. OHNS services involve multi-disciplinary teams and collaboration of care between medical specialists, such as the Otolaryngologist and the Plastic/reconstructive surgeon.

Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Jobs

Otolaryngologists specialise in diagnosing and treating patients with disorders affecting the ears, nose, throat, head and neck. They are also known as Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Surgeons. They work with patients who present with disorders like ear infections, hearing loss or tinnitus, sinus pain, face and head injuries, tonsilitis, nasal or airway obstruction, sleep apnoea, disorders of the salivary or thyroid glands, head and neck cancer, or recurring infections. They provide specialist care in emergency and inpatient settings in hospitals, and outpatient settings in hospitals and private clinics. They consult with patients, undertake assessments and diagnostic investigations, and provide surgical and non-surgical clinical management and treatment of OHNS conditions. They perform a range of surgical procedures, such as reconstructive surgery for a patient suffering facial trauma from an accident, or septoplasty to align a congenital deviated septum and improve breathing. They also perform aspects of cosmetic plastic surgery and collaborate with other surgeons. At this senior level, Otolaryngologists (ENTs) train junior doctors and registrars, provide clinical leadership, work in multi-disciplinary teams and undertake research activities. To pursue a career in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, registered doctors from PGY3+ can apply to undertake OHNS training, known as the OHNS SET program, which takes approximately five years to complete. This training program is administered by the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and leads to Fellowship of RACS and Specialist Registration with AHPRA.

Registrars (General and Specialty Surgery – Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery) are registered doctors who have completed their medical degree and pre-vocational training (internship and residency/PGY2-3). They have attained general registration with AHPRA and can now undertake specialist/or vocational training positions to broaden and refine their scope of practice and gain experience, skills and competency in their chosen area of medicine. Registrars are very important members of the integrated and multi-disciplinary health care team. They have increasing responsibility for patient care, oversee and support junior doctors and staff, participate in professional development activities and continue to receive important guidance, training, and support from senior staff. They work in a range of primary, secondary, tertiary, clinical, laboratory and acute care settings, in hospitals, private practices and community clinics. Registrars who want to pursue a career in OHNS, can undertake advanced training with RACS. OHNS registrars work under Otolaryngologists/specialist surgeon consultants, and develop procedural skills, surgical techniques, clinical expertise, and valuable work experience in providing medical care, and surgical and non-surgical management of patients with conditions relating to their surgical specialty.