Rhinology, Skull Base and Head & Neck Oncology Fellowship

Dr. Ian Witterick

General Description

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Sinai Health, sees a wide variety of complex nasal and sinus problems and head and neck oncologic cases. Dr. Witterick’s and Dr. Vescan’s practices include advanced rhinology, endoscopic and open anterior skull base surgery and head and neck oncologic surgery. Fellows operate at Sinai Health, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and the University Health Network. Dr. Witterick does the majority of his endoscopic sinus surgery at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. Head and neck oncologic surgeries are performed at Sinai Health and endoscopic and open skull base resections are performed at the University Health Network (Toronto Western Site) in conjunction with Neurosurgery. Fellows attend a multidisciplinary head & neck oncology clinic at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and participate in Tumour Board Case Conferences and Head & Neck Oncology Rounds.

A broad range of open and endoscopic sinus operations are performed including significant exposure to endoscopic revision surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis, benign tumours (e.g. inverted papilloma, angiofibroma) and CSF leak/meningoencephalocele repairs. Experience in endoscopic resection of skull base benign and malignant neoplasms is gained (e.g., esthesioneuroblastoma, meningioma, chordoma). The fellow has significant exposure to endocrine, salivary, and ablative mucosal head & neck surgery.

Fellowship Director(s)

Dr. Ian Witterick

Participating Faculty

  • Dr. Eric Monteiro
  • Dr. Allan Vescan


1. To gain advanced training and expertise in the diagnosis and management of:

  • common and rare nasal and sinus diseases.
  • anterior skull base neoplasms.
  • endocrine, salivary and mucosal neoplastic diseases of the head and neck.

2. To learn and carry out advanced endoscopic and open sinus surgeries.

3. To gain experience in endoscopic and open skull base resections.

4. To gain expertise in endocrine, salivary and mucosal surgery of the head and neck.

5. To complete 1 or 2 clinical research projects to be agreed upon at the start of the fellowship and presented at a national or international scientific meeting.

6. To be actively involved in the teaching and academic development of University of Toronto otolaryngology-head & neck surgery residents.

Principal Locations

  • Sinai Health
  • St. Joseph’s Health Centre
  • University Health Network (Toronto Western Hospital & Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)

Duration of Fellowship

The clinical fellowship is for a period of one-year preferably starting on July 1st unless appropriate licensing cannot be obtained prior to that time. The fellowship ends on June 30th of the following year regardless of when the fellow started (unless special arrangements are made).

Required Prior Residency Training

Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery

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

$60,000 (Can) per annum

Additional Benefits (e.g. meetings, housing)

Support to attend academic meetings and courses as arranged with Dr. Witterick.

On Call Responsibilities

Fellows take first call at St. Joseph’s Health Centre approximately one week in five with a staff otolaryngologist (usually Dr. Witterick) as second call.

Case Mix

Approximately 200-250 endoscopic sinus surgery procedures/year plus significant exposure to head and neck oncology cases including endoscopic and open skull base resections for benign and malignant disease.

Typical Weekly Timetable

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning OR (SH)
Clinic (SH)
Clinic (SH)
Witterick or
Fellow’s Clinic (SH)
or Clinical Research
or Skull Base Surgery (TWH)
Afternoon OR (SH)
Clinic (SH)
Clinic - PMCC
Witterick or
Fellow’s Clinic (SH)
or Clinical Research
or Skull Base Surgery (TWH)
  • SH = Sinai Health
  • PMH = Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Multidisciplinary Head & Neck Oncology Clinic with Radiation Oncology
  • SJHC = Saint Joseph’s Health Centre
  • TWH = Toronto Western Hospital

Application Deadline 

May of the preceding year.

Decision Deadline

The decision regarding the July 1st fellowship is usually made by May/June of the preceding year (i.e. 12-14 months in advance).

Additional Features of the Fellowship

Fellows attend Head & Neck Oncology Rounds (Mondays 5:30-6:30 pm), Head & Neck Fellow’s Rounds (monthly, Mondays 6:30-7:30 pm), Tumour Board Case Conferences (Tuesdays 8-9 am), SH Resident Rounds (Tuesdays 4:30-5:15 pm) and University of Toronto Grand Rounds (Fridays 7:30-8:30 am).

Fellows have ample opportunity to teach medical students and residents in clinics and the operating room. Fellows also help teach in an annual resident sinus dissection course and have the opportunity to teach in other hands-on courses. The University Department has numerous visiting professor lectures and continuing professional development courses each year that fellows are encouraged to participate in.

In special circumstances, a purely research fellow has been accepted with no hands-on clinical component.

As a condition of their medical educational licensure, clinical fellows must register with the University’s Post MD Education Office. An Orientation Handbook can be downloaded from the homepage of the Post MD Education Office’s website at http://pg.postmd.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/OrientationBooklet_WEB.pdf. The Handbook contains useful information for new fellows, including a timeline for the registration process.

How to Apply

Send a letter of interest, updated curriculum vitae and the names and contact information including email addresses of three references to Dr. Witterick at the email address below. Personal interviews are recommended as this is a highly competitive fellowship.

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. Ian Witterick
Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery
Sinai Health
413-600 University Avenue
Toronto, ON, Canada, M5G 1X5
Email:  ian.witterick@sinaihealth.ca
Tel: 416-586-4800 x8313
Fax: 416-586-8583

Current Fellow

  • 2023-24 Drs. Alexander Dickie, Maru Gete

Previous Fellows

  • 2022-23 Dr. Maru Gete (Israel)
  • 2021-22 Dr. Neil Arnstead (Canada)
  • 2020-21 Dr. Eran Glikson (Israel)
  • 2019-20 Dr. Vikram Padhye (Australia)
  • 2018-19 Dr. Peter Tomazic (Austria)
  • 2017-18 Dr. Jay Wong (Canada)
  • 2016-17 Dr. Ben McArdle (Australia)
  • 2015-16 Drs. Christopher Chin (Canada), Elhamy Samak (Egypt) (Research Fellow)
  • 2014-15 Drs. Eric Monteiro (Canada), Yazeed Alghonaim (Saudi Arabia)
  • 2013-14 Dr. Cassiana Burtet Abreu (Brazil) (Research Fellow)
  • 2012-13 Dr. Rataphol Chris Dhepnorrarat (Australia)
  • 2011-12 Dr. Kristian Macdonald (Canada)
  • 2010-12 Dr. Marcela Fandino (Columbia) (Clinical and Research Fellow)
  • 2010-11 Dr. Victor Manuel Orostegui (Columbia) (Research Fellow)
  • 2009-10 Drs. Eng Ooi (Australia), Majid Baniata (Jordan)
  • 2008-09 Dr. Iman Naseri (United States).
  • 2007-08 Dr. Arif Janjua (Canada)
  • 2006-07 Dr. Ali Moshaver (Canada)
  • 2005-06 Dr. Denny Lin (Canada)
  • 2004-05 Dr. Luis Velázquez-Villaseñor (Mexico)
  • 2003-04 Dr. Raanan Cohen-Kerem (Israel)
  • 2002-03 Dr. Miguel Bravo (Philippines)
  • 2001-02 Dr. Jack Kolenda (Canada)
  • 2001-02 Dr. Tariq Tatwani (Saudi Arabia)
  • 2000-01 Dr. Vinita Bindlish (Canada)
  • 1999-00 Dr. Richard Gall (Canada)