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Our Expertise




Fellowship and Research

Our fellowship experience

The Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute, in association with the International Hearing Foundation (IHF), sponsors 2 Clinical Fellows per year in otology and neurotology. The fellowship offers significant training in surgery for chronic ear disease, for dizziness and hearing reconstruction. Highlights of the fellowship include one of the busiest Meniere’s disease practice, and extensive training in surgery including endolymphatic sac enhancement and posterior fossa / sigmoid sinus decompression. We have have a vibrant cochlear implantation program, and do adult and pediatric cochlear implants. We do a significant number of tympanoplasty and mastoid surgery for chronic ear disease and eustachian tube dysfunction. We also do many stapedectomy and other hearing reconstruction surgeries, including ossiculoplasty. In addition to surgery, we offer expert training in clinical management of hearing loss and dizziness, chronic ear disease, as well as insights into medical practice management. There is also an opportunity to retain proficiency in general otolaryngology, including surgery for chronic sinusitis and obstructive sleep apnea.

Research opportunities

The Institute, with support from the International Hearing Foundation, promotes research in collaboration with the University of Minnesota in the Otopathology Laboratory, working alongside international research fellows and full-time staff. Its research and publishing facilities offer unique opportunities for Clinical Fellows to successfully complete clinical and basic science research during their one year fellowship. The International Hearing Foundation also maintains the temporal bone dissection laboratory on the University of Minnesota campus for further study of surgical anatomy.

Now accepting 2019-2020 Fellowship applications

To apply for the clinical fellowship please submit your CV and three letters of reference to To check the status of your application please call 612-339-4171.

For information on research fellowship opportunities in the Otopathology Laboratory at the University of Minnesota and its related laboratories, please contact us at

Clinical experience

Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute is a tertiary center for referrals from otolaryngologists in Minnesota and from many other states. Clinical fellows work daily side by side with the physicians of Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute. Surgical cases are 2-3 days per week, and other days are spent in the clinic and in the research laboratory. In addition to clinical duties, there is also opportunity to observe hearing and balance testing, and to participation in cochlear implant team discussions. After completing the fellowship, physicians should feel competent in managing the full spectrum of medical and surgical treatment for hearing and balance disorders, and other disorders related to the ear.

Our philosophy on patient care

Excellent patient care is the highest priority of Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute and Fellows who are fully trained otolaryngologists have the opportunity to observe, participate and assist in the care of these patients both in the clinic and in the hospital. A large variety of interesting problems and difficult cases are treated routinely providing for a wealth of experience to benefit the Fellow in future years and in his/her future career.

Our legacy

Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute, established in 1985, has hosted fellows for the past thirty years, and has had more than 50 clinical fellows and as many research fellows. Including his academic career prior to starting the Institute, Dr. Paparella has trained nearly 350 residents and fellows. Fellows in the past have come from across the globe, representing twenty-five countries including Canada, Puerto Rico, Panama, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Egypt, China, Thailand, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Australia.

Reflections from our Alumni

Our alumni share a common commitment to the clinical excellence and advancing the field of otolaryngology.

Hamid R. Djalilian, MD
Director of Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and Biomedical Engineering
University of California, Irvine

Hamid R. Djalilian, MD

"I had a great surgical experience during my fellowship at the Institute. I developed a philosophy for treating otologic and neurotologic disorders and became very efficient surgically. Dr. Paparella is an amazing surgeon and mentor. I really felt like a part of the family there. Since starting my academic career, I have sent three of my residents to do their fellowship at the Paparella Ear Head & Neck Institute."

Huseyin Isildak, MD
Penn State Hershey

Huseyin Isildak, MD

"I had a very nice and fruitful fellowship year in Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute. It was a pleasure for me to work with the staff. And also it was my honor to be trained by Dr. Paparella. I have learned a lot. I believe this fellowship will be an important mile stone in my career. Again I would like to thank you everyone. I am very glad to got the chance to meet you and work with you."

Neil M. Sperling, MD
The New York Otolaryngolgoy Group, P.C.

Neil M. Sperling, MD

"The year I spent with Dr. Michael Paparella at the Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute was a fantastic year. The highlight for me was learning to provide excellent otologic care in a humane manner. Healthcare includes the word "care." The personalized attention that was provided taught me how to 'care' for patients while also managing the most challenging ear conditions. Dr. Paparella's surgical technique is exemplary and provided me with the tools necessary to join a faculty of a university-hospital and develop an otologic practice. I am greatly indebted to him for this."

Rick Fox, MD, FRCS(C)
Chief, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
St. Joseph's Health Centre, Toronto, Canada
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Rick Fox, MD

"I had a wonderful year as a Fellow at the Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute working with Dr. Michael Paparella and all of his colleagues. It was an insightful learning experience. My perspective on treating patients and otologic disease were forever changed, with valuable lessons carried forward to my practice, still in use today. I endeavor to instill his wisdom and techniques to the new residents and fellows that study at our institution. It gives me great pleasure to maintain contact with colleagues that I first encountered in Minnesota. Dr. Paparella has been a true friend and mentor. I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity to be a Fellow."

Armen Serebrakian, MD
Bay Area Laser Cosmetic Surgery Center
San Francisco, CA

Armen Serebrakian, MD

"There isn't a day in my clinic that I do not recall my clinical experiences with Dr. Paparella at the Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute. Since completing fellowship with Dr. Paparella I established, in 1986, one of the largest and most comprehensive solo ENT practices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Paparella was very instrumental not only in my excellent professional training, but also in teaching me the professional ins and outs of bedside manner, collegiality, enthusiasm of research and certainly the business of medicine and surgery. When it comes time to start a surgical procedure I almost always first ask myself how would "Dr. P" do it. The time I spent under Dr. Paparella's supervision and guidance was one of the best experiences of my entire life. I extend a heartfelt Thank You to Dr. Paparella and Paparella Ear, Head & Neck Institute."

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