Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Otolaryngology
675 N. St. Clair, Suite 15-200
Chicago, Illinois 60611




David B. Conley, MD


Robert C. Kern, MD
Bruce K. Tan, MD
Stephanie Smith, MD
Kevin C. Welch, MD


At the Northwestern Sinus and Allergy Center, patients with disorders involving the nasal passages and sinuses receive care from subspecialized experts in a university-based private practice setting. Conditions that are managed include allergies, nasal and sinus infections, taste and smell disorders, deviated septum, nasal obstruction, asthma, nasal polyps, tumors involving the nose and sinuses, and issues that affect the cosmetic appearance of the nose.

The Northwestern Sinus and Allergy Center is also engaged in a variety of clinical and basic science studies to investigate why nasal and sinus diseases occur and to continually develop better ways of treatment. Much of this research sponsored by grants from the National Institutes of Health, as well as commercial sources of funding. This work has helped to maintain the Center's position at the forefront of care in the United States and internationally.


Our goal is to provide a broad based fellowship experience in the clinical and research aspects of adult rhinology designed to prepare the participant with the skills for a career in academic otolaryngology. Training will include pre and post-operative care of patients with benign and malignant rhinologic disease. Trainees will be accomplished in traditional and endoscopic surgical approaches to nasal and sinus disease including advanced frontal sinus dissection such as the endoscopic Lothrop procedure, image-guided surgery, endoscopic skull base surgery, and cosmetic rhinoplasty. Instruction in the evaluation and management of chemosensory disorders will be included in the curriculum. The fellow will participate in the collaborative research of the Sinus and Allergy Center. The fellow will also be exposed to standard management of allergic disorders under the guidance of Northwestern University medical allergists in the Northwestern Sinus and Allergy Center. Trainees will distribute time between OR (40%), office (40%) and research (20%). Successful completion of the fellowship will include presentation (as first author) of at least 2 abstracts at national meetings and completion of at least one full length manuscript that is submitted to a major journal for publication.


Clinical Rotations:

The planned weekly schedule alternates in 2-month blocks, as shown below

Weekly Schedule:

Each week contains a total of 2 OR days, 2 clinic days, and an additional day of academic time. The latter may be utilized for clinical or basic science research, and for academic study (board preparation). The schedule can be modified for fellows who elect to pursue basic science investigation that requires additional laboratory commitments. Additionally, skull base procedures are typically scheduled on either Tuesday or Wednesday in lieu of clinic.

July/August, November/December, March/April
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
AM Conley OR Conley Clinic Kern Clinic Kern OR Conley Clinic
PM Conley OR Academic Academic Kern OR Conley Clinic


September/October, January/February, May/June
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
AM  Welch Clinic  Welch Clinic  Kern Clinic  Kern OR  Welch OR
PM  Academic  Welch Clinic  Academic  Kern OR  Welch OR


Research Responsibilities:

Abundant research opportunities are available. These range from basic science bench work involving inflammatory and immunologic aspects of sinusitis, to prospective and retrospective clinical studies of sinusitis management. Dr. Tan serves as the primary liaison to the immunology laboratory, which is under the direction of Dr. Robert Schleimer, Chair of the Division of Allergy and Immunology. Much of this research is funded by active NIH grants. The follow is also required to attend the weekly research meeting of the Northwestern Sinus and Allergy center, held from 12:30-1:30 PM each Wednesday. This conference features presentations of recent clinical and basic science research findings, proposals for future projects, and discussion of key articles via a journal club format.

The fellow will be encouraged to develop proposals for areas of research focus under the direction of Drs. Tan, Conley, Welch, and Kern. Although a diverse array of research options is available, fellows are encouraged to concentrate on one or two major areas, such that he/she will have developed an academic niche during the course of the fellowship. Currently active areas of research include: (1) Outcomes measures of treatment of chronic sinusitis, (2) Basic science of chronic sinusitis (mucosal inflammation, innate immune responses/acquired immune responses), (3) Basic molecular research of olfaction, (4) Healthcare policy/economic research examining diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms in the management of chronic sinusitis.

The Fellow will be expected to present his/her work at the COSM and at the annual American Rhinologic Society meeting in September (fall) following completion of the training. It should be noted that the fellow may also be offered opportunities to author chapters and review articles where Drs Conley, Welch, Tan or Kern have been invited as senior author.

Diversity of Cases:

Fellows typically graduate with in excess of 300 surgical cases. These reflect a broad range techniques including primary FESS, revision FESS, complex frontal sinus disease, sinonasal tumors, trans-sinonasal skull base surgery, trans-sinonasal orbital surgery, rhinoplasty, and occasional general otolaryngology (sleep surgery, maxillofacial trauma). For primary FESS and general otolaryngology cases, fellows will be expected to provide mentorship to residents training in the conduct of these procedures. The aim of this experience is to prepare fellows for a career in academic otolargology with an advanced, diverse skill set.

Call Schedule:

The fellow may be asked to participate in rhinologic cases that arise during on call hours.

Additional Information:

  1. Four presentations during the year at Departmental Grand Rounds (Typical topics: Allergic Fungal Sinusitis, Frontal Sinus disease: Medical and Surgical Management, Sinonasal Polyps, and Chronic Sinusitis: Evaluation, Management and Treatment Outcomes)
  2. Proctor two journal clubs in rhinology and a one-day ESS cadaver dissection course for the residents under the direction of Drs. Conley, Welch, and Kern.

As a PGY-6 level, according to Northwestern University Graduate Medical Education guidelines. Full University Benefits including health are provided.


2022-2023: Tara Wu, MD - Current Fellow
2021-2022: Alexander Schneider, MD - Private Practice, Central DuPage Hospital
2020-2021: Derek Wu, MD - Kaiser Permanente
2019-2020 Kevin Hur, MD - Assistant Professor, USC
2018-2019 Jonathan Yip, MD - Toronto, Canada, University of Toronto
2017-2018 Jasper Shen, MD - Los Angeles, Kaiser
2016-2017 Nsangou Ghogomum, MD
2015-2016 Kara Detwiller, MD - Oregon Health Sciences University/VAMC
2014-2015 Christopher Thompson, MD - Head & Neck Associates of Orange County
2013-2014 Opeyemi Daramola, MD - University Medical Center of Princeton
2012-2013 Akaber Halawi, MD - Lima, Ohio
2011-2012 Eric Meen, MD, FRCS - Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba
2010-2011 Randy Leung, MD, FRCS - Lecturer, University of Toronto
2009-2010 Bruce Tan, MD - Assistant Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
2008-2009 Micah Hill, MD - Clinical Instructor, Stanford University
2007-2008 Aaron Pearlman, MD - Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College
2006-2007 Dennis Chang, MD - Assistant Professor, Loma Linda University


To enter the fellowship, trainees must be board-eligible or board certified in otolaryngology and able to obtain an Illinois Medical License.


Northwestern University participates in the SF Match program for Rhinology.


Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Otolaryngology
Attn: David B. Conley, MD (Fellowship Director)
[email protected]
675 N. St. Clair, Suite 15-200
Chicago, Illinois 60611