An otolaryngologist is a specialist who takes care of both adults and children who have problems of the ear, nose, throat and neck. Otology is a subspecialty of this group that is primarily concerned with hearing and balance problems. Otologists might perform surgeries to remove tumours or other masses or to repair traumatic injuries of the temporal bones and skull base. They provide medical management for conditions such as ear infections, dizziness, hearing loss or ringing in the ears. They also treat problems that affect the balance system.
Otologists follow the usual course of schooling to become a doctor: four years of college and four more of medical school followed by at least three years of residency. Most otologists, however, spend at least five years in residency - one year of general surgery and four more of training for their specialty. An otologist may also attend a fellowship - an extended period of specialty training.