The House Institute offers a competitive 2-year neurotology fellowship. This program is designed to advance education beyond that of an otolaryngology residency in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the temporal bone, lateral skull base, and related anatomical structures.
Fellows receive comprehensive training in extradural skull base approaches and postoperative care of lateral skill base surgery patients. The program also exposes candidates to new research opportunities, global humanitarian efforts, and the ACGME accreditation necessary to apply for board certification in neurotology at the conclusion of the fellowship.
Every year, between thirty and forty physicians apply to the Fellowship Program. One to two applicants are selected per year and invited to spend two years studying with the otologists of the House Clinic. This summer, the House Institute was thrilled to welcome Dr. Susan Ellsperman as our newest fellow.
Dr. Ellsperman grew up playing soccer in southwestern Indiana. She attended University of Southern Indiana for undergrad and Indiana University for medical school before moving on to the University of Michigan for her residency. With a passion for sports from a young age, Susan originally thought about getting involved in the world of physical therapy. It was her deep-rooted interests in science, health care, and helping people that steered her towards a future in medicine.
We sat down with Dr. Ellsperman to ask her a few questions and introduce her to the House community.
How did you become interested in this specialty?
I loved that it combined medicine and surgery, plus I have a personal interest in the topic. My dad has chronic middle ear disease, so I’ve seen first-hand the effects of chronic disease and hearing loss on both the patient and on the patient’s family.
What made you want to complete your fellowship at House?
The House Institute has a tremendous history and reputation based on surgical innovation. It’s also well known for education, both in the US and abroad. All this plus the incredible surgeons put House at the top of my list.
What’s a typical day look like for you as a fellow?
I’m working with Dr. Luxford a lot this year. It’s a good mix of seeing patients in the clinic and hands-on operating experience. During the course of the fellowship, we learn how to take care of patients with skull-based tumors, but the majority of our patients are going to be people with hearing loss and chronic ear disease. It’s surreal to transition from an environment of 25 residents to being a singular fellow, but it’s also incredible to focus my time and energy on the specialty I’m most passionate about.
What are the things you’re looking forward to the most?
I’m excited to learn more about skull-based tumors. I’m also very interested in the ability for cochlear implants and other implantable devices to restore hearing and drastically improve someone’s quality of life. Above all, I’m looking forward to honing my surgical skills and to learn as much as I possibly can over the next two years.