For such a hard-to-pronounce specialty, otolaryngology has a pretty straightforward mission: to take care of people’s ears, noses, and throats. Commonly called ENTs, otolaryngologists are responsible for treating patients with diseases or disorders of the head and neck. More specifically, they provide medical and surgical care for problems of the ears, nose, and throat, the respiratory and upper alimentary system, and any other related structures of the head and neck.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the United States, dating back to the 1500s. After having been around for hundreds of years, the specialty has grown in numbers quite remarkably over the last five decades or so as significant technological advances allowed doctors to enhance their treatments. In 2007, there were 10,227 trained otolaryngologists in the United States, up from 9,074 in 1996.Read more