The American Rhinologic Society (ARS) was created in 1954 to advance education and research in the care of patients with rhinologic disorders. Throughout its history, the ARS has placed training of the next generation of rhinologists as a high priority. Fellowships play an important role in that training, particularly training related to the most advanced rhinologic procedures. To assist the next generation of rhinologists assess the available fellowships, and to assist fellowship providers assess their own programs, the ARS is embarking on this program that will, on a voluntary basis, review available fellowships and offer affirmation of their quality.

The Rhinology Training Council (RTC) was created in the spring of 2016 by the Board of Directors (BOD) of the ARS to advance the ARS educational mission. The impetus for creation was the quickly evolving landscape of rhinology fellowships and the growing field of endoscopic skull base surgery. The RTC is to advise the ARS Board on key criteria that secure the needs of trainees, programs and patient care. Programs that meet criteria for a NeuroRhinology – Advanced Rhinology fellowship will be approved by the ARS Board.

The RTC was tasked with researching and developing a model of oversight for the rhinology fellowship programs. The RTC reviewed various oversight models before deciding to pursue a model similar to that used by the American Head and Neck Society in oversight of the head and neck surgery fellowships.

The RTC concluded that the need for oversight is not directed toward training in “routine” rhinological surgery but rather procedures that are communally understood to be “advanced”, which may require dedicated fellowship training. One of the natural differentiations between the two was the surgery involving or beyond the dura. Other procedures that are communally recognized as technically challenging (“Advanced Rhinology”) may merit additional training. As such, the focus of the RTC will be on "neurorhinology" procedures and advanced rhinological surgery. 

The rationale for this was several-fold. First, many of the ARS sister societies have fellowship oversight. Second, there is currently no “home” for endoscopic skull base fellowships and it was felt to be in the best interests of the ARS to provide leadership in this regard. Third, there is precedent with neuro-otology and the skull base is a natural break point between inflammatory disease and skull base procedures. Finally, this, in no way, would impact resident training in “routine” rhinologic disease, nor would it preclude an institution from having a basic “rhinology” fellowship. By overseeing only the NeuroRhinology – Advanced Rhinology, no changes would be necessary for programs that wish to continue with a “Rhinology” fellowship outside of this structure. All programs would remain in the San Francisco match. The only difference is the NeuroRhinology – Advanced Rhinology programs would be able to offer graduates an ARS affirmation for performing neurorhinologic (skull base) and advanced rhinological surgery procedures. This would allow fellowship programs the choice to pursue additional criteria and oversight.

It is important to note that fellowships are educational programs. Fellowship providers will be asked as part of the application process to affirm that their fellowship is being offered for purely educational purposes and not to advance the business purpose of the providers’s medical practice. Failure to offer this affirmation will disquality a fellowship from participating in this program. 


The Rhinology Training Council is an ARS select committee made up of ten ARS members, five that are fellowship trained but are not affiliated with rhinology fellowship programs and five that are affiliated with rhinology fellowship programs. There is a chairperson, not affiliated with a fellowship program, that is appointed by the ARS BOD. The ARS President as well as the ARS Fellowship Committee chair are ex officio, non-voting members.

The fellowship program representatives are elected by the Fellowship Committee. The non-fellowship affiliated representatives on the committee are nominated by the ARS president and approved by the ARS BOD.

RTC members will serve a three-year term with the potential for one renewal. When an individual’s term is about to end, the chair of the RTC will confirm their willingness to serve a second term. If they are willing, then the RTC chair will re-nominate them to the BOD or to the fellowship committee for non-fellowship affiliated and fellowship affiliated members, respectively.  

If a non-fellowship affiliated RTC member becomes affiliated with a fellowship during that individual’s RTC term, said individual must resign their position on the RTC and the BOD must nominate a new member to finish out that person’s term. 


Chairperson: David Poetker

Non-fellowship members:
• Marc Dubin
• Devyani Lal
• Chris McMains
• Vijay Ramakrishnan
• Jean Vining

Fellowship members:
• Alex Chiu
• Stacey Gray
• Richard Orlandi
• Rod Schlosser
• Raj Sindwani 


The RTC reports to the BOD of the ARS. Final authority and responsibility for all training issues is retained by the BOD of the ARS. The RTC will review the applications, oversee the Interviews of the fellowship programs, and make recommendations to the ARS BOD. The BOD will make the final decisions on the standing of a program.