Skip to main content Accessibility help

Prioritising topics for the undergraduate ENT curriculum

  • J D Constable (a1), G A Moghul (a1), P Leighton (a2), S J Schofield (a3) and M Daniel (a1) (a4)...



Knowledge of ENT is important for many doctors, but undergraduate time is limited. This study aimed to identify what is thought about ENT knowledge amongst non-ENT doctors, and the key topics that the curriculum should focus on.


Doctors were interviewed about their views of ENT knowledge amongst non-ENT doctors, and asked to identify key topics. These topics were then used to devise a questionnaire, which was distributed to multiple stakeholders in order to identify the key topics.


ENT knowledge was generally thought to be poor amongst doctors, and it was recommended that undergraduate ENT topics be kept simple. The highest rated topics were: clinical examination; when to refer; acute otitis media; common emergencies; tonsillitis and quinsy; management of ENT problems by non-ENT doctors; stridor and stertor; otitis externa; and otitis media with effusion.


This study identified a number of key ENT topics, and will help to inform future development of ENT curricula.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr James D Constable, Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Department, Queen's Medical Centre, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK Fax: 01159 194486 E-mail:


Hide All
1 Donnelly, MJ, Quraishi, MS, McShane, DP. ENT and general practice: a study of paediatric ENT problems seen in general practice and recommendations for general practitioner training in ENT in Ireland. Ir J Med Sci 1995;164:209–11
2 Lennon, P, O'Donovan, JP, O'Donoghue, S, Fenton, JE. The otolaryngology, head and neck training appraisal questionnaire: a national general practice perspective. Ir J Med Sci 2013;182:609–14
3 Hannaford, PC, Simpson, JA, Bisset, AF, Davis, A, McKerrow, W, Mills, R. The prevalence of ear, nose and throat problems in the community: results from a national cross-sectional postal survey in Scotland. Fam Pract 2005;22:227–33
4 Baker, C. Accident and Emergency Statistics: Demand, Performance and Pressure, Paper number 6964. London: House of Commons Library, 2015
5 Coulter, A, Noone, A, Goldacre, M. General practitioners' referrals to specialist outpatient clinics. I. Why general practitioners refer patients to specialist outpatient clinics. BMJ 1989;299:304–6
6 Clamp, PJ, Gunasekaran, S, Pothier, DD, Saunders, MW. ENT in general practice: training, experience and referral rates. J Laryngol Otol 2007;121:580–3
7 Mace, AD, Narula, AA. Survey of current undergraduate otolaryngology training in the United Kingdom. J Laryngol Otol 2004;118:217–20
8 Khan, MM, Saeed, SR. Provision of undergraduate otorhinolaryngology teaching within General Medical Council approved UK medical schools: what is current practice? J Laryngol Otol 2012;126:340–4
9 Sharma, A, Machen, K, Clarke, B, Howard, D. Is undergraduate otorhinolaryngology teaching relevant to junior doctors working in accident and emergency departments? J Laryngol Otol 2006;120:949–51
10 Powell, J, Cooles, FA, Carrie, S, Paleri, V. Is undergraduate medical education working for ENT surgery? A survey of UK medical school graduates. J Laryngol Otol 2011;125:896–90
11 Evans, LM, Backhouse, S, Owens, D. Has the introduction of hospital at night affected ENT out-of-hours care in Wales? Bull Roy Coll Surg Engl 2015;97:449–51
12 O'Dunn-Orto, A, Hartling, L, Campbell, S, Oswald, AE. Teaching musculoskeletal clinical skills to medical trainees and physicians: a Best Evidence in Medical Education systematic review of strategies and their effectiveness: BEME Guide No. 18. Med Teach 2012;34:93102
13 Lloyd, S, Tan, ZE, Taube, MA, Doshi, J. Development of an ENT undergraduate curriculum using a Delphi survey. Clin Otolaryngol 2014;39:281–8
14 Dicicco-Bloom, B, Crabtree, BF. The qualitative research interview. Med Educ 2006;40:314–21
15 Giddings, LS, Grant, BM. Mixed methods research for the novice researcher. Contemp Nurse 2006;23:311
16 Braun, V, Clarke, V. Successful Qualitative Research. London: Sage, 2013
17 Gill, P, Stewart, K, Treasure, E, Chadwick, B. Methods of data collection in qualitative research: interviews and focus groups. Br Dent J 2008;204:291–5
18 Opdenakker, R. Advantages and disadvantages of four interview techniques in qualitative research. Forum: Qualitative Social Research 2006;7:Art. 11
19 Novick, G. Is there a bias against telephone interviews in qualitative research? Res Nurs Health 2008;31:391–8
20 Sandelowski, M. Sample size in qualitative research. Res Nurs Health 1995;18:179–83
21 Fugard, AJ, Potts, HW. Supporting thinking on sample sizes for thematic analyses: a quantitative tool. Int J Soc Res Methodol 2015;18:669–84
22 Leung, WC. How to design a questionnaire. Student BMJ 2001;9:187–9
23 Economics Network. Designing questionnaires. 2013. In: [6 October 2016]
24 Yager, J, Kunkle, R, Fochtmann, LJ, Reid, SM, Plovnick, R, Nininger, JE et al. Who's your expert? Use of an expert opinion survey to inform development of American Psychiatric Association practice guidelines. Acad Psychiatry 2014;38:376–82
25 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increasing Questionnaire Response Rates. Evaluation Briefs 2010;21:12
27 Schwartz, M, Basco, W, Grey, M, Elmore, J, Rubenstein, A. Rekindling student interest in generalist careers. Ann Intern Med 2005;142:715–24
28 General Medical Council. Good Medical Practice. In: [29 October 2016]
29 Harden, RM, Sowden, S, Dunn, WR. Educational strategies in curriculum development: the SPICES model. Med Educ 1984;18:284–97
30 Huba, M, Freed, J. Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning. New York: Pearson, 1999
31 Powell, J, Cooles, F, Carrie, S, Paleri, V. Is undergraduate medical education working for ENT surgery? A survey of UK medical school graduates. J Laryngol Otol 2011;125:896905
32 Johnson, E, Charchanti, A, Troupis, T. Modernization of an anatomy class: from conceptualization to implementation. A case for integrated multimodal-multidisciplinary teaching. Anat Sci Educ 2012;5:354–66
33 University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 150 teaching methods. In: [11 January 2017]
34 Alamro, A, Schofield, S. Supporting traditional PBL with online discussion forums: a study from Qassim Medical School. Med Teach 2012;34(suppl 1):S204
35 Webb, A, Choi, S. Interactive radiological anatomy eLearning solution for first year medical students: development, integration, and impact on learning. Anat Sci Educ 2014;7:350–60
36 Fung, K. Otolaryngology – head and neck surgery in undergraduate medical education: advances and innovations. Laryngoscope 2015;125(suppl 2):S114
37 Hamilton, J, Tee, S. Teaching and learning: a SEM blended learning systems approach. Higher Education Research and Development 2010;29:116
38 3 Strategies to Encourage Students to Complete the Pre-Class Work in the Flipped Classroom. In: [17 January 2017]
39 Provini, C. Best Practices for Flipped Classrooms. In: [17 January 2017]
40 General Medical Council. Promoting excellence: Standards for medical education and training. In: [11 January 2017]
41 Beers, G, Bowden, S. The effect of teaching method on long-term knowledge retention. J Nurs Educ 2005;44:511–14


Prioritising topics for the undergraduate ENT curriculum

  • J D Constable (a1), G A Moghul (a1), P Leighton (a2), S J Schofield (a3) and M Daniel (a1) (a4)...


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed