Otology-Skull Base Surgery Fellowship

Dr. Joseph Chen

General Description

The Neurotology Fellowship program at the Sunnybrook campus of the SHSC has produced 30 clinical and research fellows since its inception. It is the largest program of its kind in Canada focused in clinical care and clinical research. This program is tailored for those who wish to acquire skills as a tertiary referral Otologist/Neurotologist. We expect candidates to have already received adequate training in general otolaryngology, in particular, general otology. The amount of surgical responsibility is commensurate with previous experience and proven surgical skills.

Fellowship Type (Clinical %, Research %)

20% Clinical, 80% Research (First year)
80% Clinical, 20% Research (Second year, if applicable)

Fellowship Director(s)

Dr. Joseph Chen

Participating Faculty

Dr. Vincent Lin


The “Fellow” will receive advanced training in all areas related to the clinical, surgical and academic aspects of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery. This will be achieved by the following job description:

Surgical exposure (3 days/week):

  • Skull base procedures-Acoustic neuroma, meningioma, Facial Neuroma, etc.(approx. 50)
  • Cochlear implantation-facial recess approach(approx. 180).
  • Stapedotomy (graduated responsibility-approx. 50+)
  • Advanced temporal bone surgery(graduated responsibility)
  • Use of temporal bone lab facility-as per availability of TB.

Clinical exposure and responsibility (1.5 day/week):

  • Attend specialty clinics (cochlear implant, facial nerve, Dizziness)
  • Attend Supervisors’ clinics (1/2 day per week)
  • Conduct Dizziness clinics(1 day/wk)

Teaching responsibility:

  • Lecture (management of the dizzy patient) to clinical clerks -6X/yr
  • Assist in conducting practical exams - 4/yr
  • Presentation of Grand Rounds -1/yr
  • Presentation of hospital rounds -2/yr
  • Assist in teaching temporal bone dissection course for residents -1 wk/yr
  • Assist in running temporal bone dissection course (CME)
  • 7. Resident teaching 4X/yr

Research Responsibility:

  • 4 clinical projects in areas of Neurotology-Skull Base Surgery
  • Minimum of 2 presentations at a national or international meeting Triologic Eastern Section Triologic Combined Spring meeting (COSM) Canadian Society of OTL(CSO)
  • One day per week dedicated research time(+ after hours)

Principal Locations

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Trillium Health Partners

Duration of Fellowship

One year with possibility of extension

Foreign Graduate Eligibility Requirements

Because they have patient contact, all clinical fellows require licensure by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), the body which regulates the practice of medicine in Ontario. A key requirement for the licensure of clinical fellows by the CPSO is that the candidate must be recognized as a medical specialist in the jurisdiction where the candidate has been practicing medicine prior to the clinical fellowship.

Detailed information about basic application requirements for clinical fellows is accessible through the Post MD Education Office website at http://pg.postmd.utoronto.ca/

Annual Stipend/Salary

Canadian Fellows: guaranteed base salary.  Will help with application for  grants and scholarships.

International Fellows: Department stipend for Year One (research).  Candidates are expected to have salary support from their own institution or funding agencies through grants or scholarship reaching a level set by the University of Toronto.

Additional Benefits (e.g. meetings, housing)

Partial funding is available based on income generated through ambulatory care clinics.

On Call Responsibilities

First call - necessary at community/ academic site(s) no more than 20/yr)
Second Call - Occasional nights and weekends for Drs. Chen/Lin in the event of a urgent need.

Application Deadline 

December of the preceeding year.

Decision Deadline

Offer is made 18 months in advance of start date.

Additional Features of the Fellowship

Resource Persons:
Drs. Alain Dabdoub, PhD (Director of Sonja Koerner Hearing Regeneration Initiative), Andrew Dimitrijevic, PhD (Cochlear Implant Electrophysiology Researcher), Trung Le, PhD (Clinician Investigator), David Shipp, MSc (Coordinator-Cochlear Implant Program)

Resource Facilities:
Cochlear Implant Electrophysiology Research Laboratory
Temporal Dissection Laboratory
Surgical Skills Laboratory-Sinai Health

How to Apply

  1. Graduate of an accredited medical school and OTL training program.
  2. Three letters of reference(eg. chairman, program director, supervisor, etc)
  3. A curriculum vitae deemed appropriate for the position.
  4. Pre-fellowship assessment (4 wk) of medical and clinical skills supervised by the University of Toronto

Postgraduate training agreements are currently in place between the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and sponsoring agencies from a number of countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. Applications for fellowship training from citizens of these countries must reach the Post MD Education Office directly from the sponsoring agency. For details, please consult the Post MD Education Office website at http://pg.postmd.utoronto.ca/applicants/apply-for-fellowship-training/

To All Applicants:
If you have also applied to the U.S match through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), please be advised that the University of Toronto is a participating institution and adheres to the match policy. The policy states that "Applicants who have matched to a program or have accepted a position during the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), shall not apply for, discuss, interview for, or accept a concurrent year position in another program prior to the NRMP granting the requested waiver." More information is accessible at https://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/2022-MPA-Institutions-1.pdf.

Contact Information for Applicants

Dr. Joseph Chen
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
Tel: 416-480-4140

Current Fellow

  • 2023-24 Drs. Jennifer Spiegel, Omer Yaacov Ungar

Previous Fellows

  • 2021-22 Drs. Demir Bajin, Omer Yaacov Ungar, Dr. Valerie Dahm
  • 2020-21 Dr. Justin Lui
  • 2019-20 Dr. Matthew Crowson
  • 2018-19 Dr. Maya Kuroiwa Rivero
  • 2017-18 Dr.  David Low
  • 2016-17 Dr. George Kurien
  • 2015-16 Dr. Euna A Hwang
  • 2014-15 Dr. Ohad Hilly
  • 2013-14 Dr. Jafri Kuthubutheen
  • 2012-13 Dr. Christoph Arnoldner
  • 2011-12 Dr. Shu-Na Li
  • 2010-12 Dr. Hosam Amoodi
  • 2010-11 Dr. Paul Mick
  • 2009-10 Dr. Simon Greenberg
  • 2008-09 Dr. Jordan Hochman
  • 2007-08 Dr. Heng-Wai Yuen
  • 2006-07 Dr. Daniel Bodmer
  • 2005–06 Dr. Vincent Lin
  • 2004–05 Dr. Andrew Marshall
  • 2003–04 Dr. Ronan Perez
  • 2001–02 Dr. Eytan David
  • 2000–01 Dr. Gerard Chee
  • 1999–00 Dr. Daniel Kaplan
  • 1998–99 Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Abidi
  • 1996–97 Dr. Stephen Hone
  • 1995–96 Dr. Dermot Commins
  • 1994–95 Dr. Mohammad Alzuwayed
  • 1993–94 Dr. Jennifer Anderson|
  • 1992–93 Dr. Charlotte Chiong
  • 1990–92 Dr. David Schessel
  • 1990–91 Dr. Gaetan Fradet
  • 1989-90 Dr. Graham Bryce
  • 1998–99 Dr. Andrew Pfleiderer
  • 1987-88 Dr. Brian Blakley
  • 1986–87 Dr. John McGath