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ENT opportunities growing for medical student and sub-intern rotations

Houston Methodist is experiencing a surge in interest in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery from medical students and sub-interns who want to experience the range of complex, tertiary-level cases being seen by experts with innovative ideas in the department. “As a relatively new department, we have been excited to see an increase in medical students who have heard about our new opportunities and are interested in how we are doing things at Houston Methodist Hospital,” said Yin Yiu, MD, faculty coordinator of medical student education, who considers education to be one of her passions within her profession. “We are seeing more and more students who want to come and shadow us or rotate in our department.”
Yin Yiu, MD
Dr. Yiu sees patients at the Texas Voice Center at Houston Methodist Hospital where she specializes in care of voice, airway and swallowing disorders. Houston Methodist is also home to the Center for Performing Arts Medicine, caring for the voices of professional performing artists including the Houston Grand Opera. Medical students are drawn to Methodist’s respected ENT program because of many such experienced faculty members who practice advanced procedures and bring forth innovative ideas. Unique to Houston Methodist are its engineering collaboration with Texas A&M College, access to the latest generation technology including the DaVinci Robot system for less invasive surgeries and hands-on training with MITE (Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education.)


A collaboration with Texas A&M’s College of Engineering, College of Medicine and Houston Methodist Hospital, the EnMed program develops “physicianeers.” Physicianeers are students who receive medical doctorates and master’s of engineering degrees focused on healthcare. The program integrates the medical school curriculum with engineering and entrepreneurship to solve the medical field’s most complex problems, often with the use of technology. Methodist’s ENT Department serves as the primary Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery clinical and research training center for students at Texas A&M College of Medicine at Houston and the EnMed program. The largest engineering-based medical degree program in the nation, EnMed students must design something transformational to take to the marketplace before graduation. Graduates then receive both a doctorate of medicine and master’s in engineering in four years.

State-of-the-art equipment and DaVinci robotics

Clinics are outfitted with “state-of-the-art technology,” according to faculty members, including 4K sinus imaging equipment, image-guided localization instruments, wall-mounted ear microscopes, laryngeal videostroboscopic imaging systems, an in-office CT scanner and lasers for tumor removal and facial aesthetics. Dedicated Otolaryngology operating suites have the single port DaVinci robot for head and neck cancer. All of the imaging towers in the operating rooms contain high definition 4K screens capable of utilizing ICG dye identification, with several ORs outfitted with the Storz Collaborator visualization system and the Olympus 3D Orbeye exoscope.

MITIE (The Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education)

The first facility of its kind, the MITIE high-tech simulation venue encompasses 35,000 square feet for research and training that includes a virtual hospital, a procedural skills lab and a core of research operating room. MITIE allows learners to visualize new skills, telementor with experienced staff and practice image-guided procedures and robotic surgery. The virtual hospital uses simulation technology to rehearse basic skills like establishing an airway, high-pressure emergency room procedures and, eventually, high-risk, low frequency procedures. “MITIE attracts everyone to learn from us from everywhere around the word. This is a unique learning center that is setting the standard for innovative, hands-on training,” says Dr. Yiu. Alongside medical students and sub-interns, Methodist ENTs also train residents from Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. They have also just accepted the first two residents who will form the inaugural class of the training program based in the Houston Methodist department. Dr. Yiu said she has a passion for education and plans to maintain lifelong educational pursuits including the training of resident physicians and medical students alongside her clinical and research endeavors. She has published peer-reviewed research and presented nationally on a variety of topics including vocal fold atrophy, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, airway stenosis and thyroid cancer. “Education is one of my primary passions as I have so greatly benefited from the guidance of my mentors and feel privileged to pass that along to the next generation of young clinicians” she added. “I watched my mentors derive contentment from their clinical, educational, and research pursuits, and I knew that was the type of academic career I wanted to pursue as well,” Dr. Yiu said.