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ENT or Otolaryngology is a specialty of medical science that focuses on the treatment of ear, nose, throat, head and neck. There is a common perception that Otolaryngology or ENT as the name suggests is about the Ear, Nose, and Throat. But this is not true. This medical field cater to the entire area above cervical or collar bone, basically the area from the neck upwards. Hence we can say that Otolaryngology or ENT (ear, nose, and throat) is the branch of medicine and surgery that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the head and neck. This branch of medicine concerns functions like speaking, hearing, maintaining balance, smelling, breathing and swallowing. Physicians specializing in otolaryngology are called Otolaryngologists /Head and neck surgeons or more commonly ENT specialists. They examine the ear, nose and throat; diagnose the conditions; treat the diseases involving the head and neck region, and related injuries.
Otolaryngologists or ENT Specialists focus on both surgical and medical treatment of the ears, nose, throat and related head and neck areas. They perform surgeries on face, voice box and find cure for any hearing problem. These specialists can also diagnose throat cancer, thyroid cancer and laryngomalacia.
An ENT Specialist can sub-specialize in any one of the major organ areas. One who specializes in Ear diseases or Otology, focus on the ears and treat hearing disorders, infections, balance disorders, nerve pain, a condition of ringing noises in the ear (tinnitus), and cranial nerve disorders. Whereas one specializing in Rhinology or the study of the Nose including sinuses, can deal with patients suffering from diseases of the nasal passages, allergy, sleep apnea, snoring and chronic sinusitis. Throat (Laryngology) specialists treat diseases of the larynx, esophagus, and upper aero-digestive tract, including swallowing and voice disorders. Head and neck specialists treat diseases, both benign and malignant (cancerous) tumors, facial trauma, and deformities of the face.
Otolaryngologists may also choose to specialize in any of the following subject areas: Pediatric Otolaryngology (Children's common disorders such as ear infections, hearing problems and correction of Cleft lip, Cochlear implant); Neurotology / Neuro-Otology (Neurological disorders of the ears, dizziness, skull base surgery etc); Facial cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery (Maxillofacial, trauma); Head and Neck oncology (Oncology surgery, reconstruction, endocrine surgery) etc.
Aspirants who want to be an ENT specialist or Otolaryngologists has to go for MS (ENT). For admission to MS (ENT) program, a student must have a MBBS degree of five and half years duration from a recognized university/board and it should be recognized by Medical Council of India including the required period of pre- registration internship (12 months) in a recognised hospital. To get admission in the Post graduate degree course, one has to score well in the entrance exam, which may be conducted at the state or national level, and may vary from one university to the other. MS (ENT) is a three-year Post Graduate degree programme. After MS ENT, one can further specialise and do M.Ch in Head and Neck surgery. Admissions for M.Ch is based on a national level entrance exam and subsequent counseling by the particular institute.
Passion and love for the career is required. One must not choose this career merely for the purpose of monetary return. Should have good memory and recollection ability, service mentality, stamina, patience, power of concentration, emotional stability, logical and analytical mind, willingness to learn throughout their career, ability to take timely decisions, self -motivation etc. A doctor is also expected to possess a strong sense of responsibility as the patient's life depends entirely on him.
Career opportunities in this field is quite good. ENT specialists can work as Consultants, ENT assistants, Researchers, Professors, ENT surgeons and Private practitioners. They can get jobs in reputed Government and Private Hospitals. Another option is he/she can join a teaching institute as a lecturer or as an assistant professor. One can also work as a research fellow in any medical college. After considerable experience, ENT Specialists with good entrepreneurial skill can also open their own Clinic.
You do not have to worry about your income, the pay back is excellent. Salary is primarily based on the years of experience, the sub specialty, geographic location and the type of facility. Similarly salary varies for private practice and those in government service. A fresher who joins a government hospital can start earning from Rs.25,000 per month. However with experience it can range from Rs. 50,000- lakhs. Besides they are also entitled to various perks and allowances such as free accommodation, medical coverage, paid vacation, paid holidays and post retirement pension. In private hospitals the salary can be much more. They can expect between Rs.60,000 to Rs.80,000 per month. Those who are experienced in the field can earn even lakhs per month. For those who have reputation and own practice, income is not a constraint.
» MS ENT
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