Exposure to otolaryngology is currently minimal in the UK undergraduate medical curriculum. This may lead to difficulties in attracting graduates into higher ENT surgical training and in ensuring a reasonable standard of ENT knowledge amongst primary care practitioners.
A recent innovation, of which many ENT units may be unaware, is the introduction to the undergraduate curriculum of ‘student-selected components’. Like the traditional elective, this allows students to undertake an attachment to a speciality and department of their choice. Units which do not regularly teach medical students but which have a welcoming and enthusiastic approach to undergraduate training may well be ideal hosts.
This paper introduces the concepts underlying student-selected components, outlines the preparation required and offers a template for such an attachment, for which ENT is ideally suited.