FREE Consult: Master More - Faster - for Impressive Boards ScoresSCHEDULE CALL
FREE Consult: Master More - Faster - for Impressive Boards Scores


Otolaryngology vs. Hematology and Oncology: Which Specialty is Right for You?

Want FREE Cardiology Flashcards?

Cardiology is key for impressive USMLE scores. Master cardiology from a Harvard-trained anesthesiologist who scored USMLE 270 with these 130+ high-yield flash cards. You’ll be begging for cardio questions - even if vitals make you queasy.

by Yousmle Staff in Career

Otolaryngology vs. hematology-oncology is one of the biggest debates among medical students interested in physiology. Both specialties allow you to explore the complex workings of the human body and use your skills to improve patient outcomes. However, they also have significant differences, such as the scope of practice, the work environment, and the training requirements.

How do you decide which one is right for you? In this article, we will provide helpful information and tips to help you make an intelligent decision on otolaryngology vs. hematology-oncology and find a fulfilling career that matches your interests and abilities. We will also help you evaluate practical factors such as job availability, salary, and training duration.

Otolaryngology vs. Hematology-Oncology: Salary and Job Security

Consider specializing in otolaryngology or hematology-oncology if you want to earn a lot of money and have a steady demand for your services. There are many job openings in the fields of otolaryngology and hematology-oncology. Hospitals are often in high demand for otolaryngologists and hematologist-oncologists, and the future outlook for careers in these specialties is positive.

Both otolaryngology and hematology-oncology are high-paying medical specialties, but otolaryngologists typically earn a slightly higher average salary. According to recent data, otolaryngologists earn an average annual salary of $485,000, while hematologist-oncologists have a slightly lower average salary of $463,000.

Estimated Physician Average Yearly Salary by Medical Specialty in the US

Otolaryngologists earn $485,000 per year on average, while hematologist-oncologists earn less with $463,000 annually

Otolaryngology vs. Hematology-Oncology: Competitiveness

Here we can assess the competitiveness of a specialty by looking at the unmatched rate – the % of people who apply and do not match into their preferred specialty. Otolaryngology was the 3rd most competitive residency in the 2022 Match, with a 30.8% unmatched rate among US Seniors. Only orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery had a higher percentage at 34.2% and 37.3%, respectively.

Otolaryngology vs. Hematology and Oncology Competitiveness

Otolaryngology had a 30.8% unmatched rate, while internal medicine had a 2% unmatched rate among US seniors

To pursue a career in hematology-oncology, you must first match into an internal medicine residency. Among US Seniors, the unmatched percentage for internal medicine residency was only 2%, making it less competitive than other residencies. However, this does not mean that hematology-oncology is less competitive. After completing your internal medicine residency, you will still need to match into a fellowship, which is generally more competitive than matching into a residency. 

Below is the unmatched percentage among non-pediatric fellowships with >100 applicants. The unmatched percentage of US Seniors applying to the hematology-oncology fellowship was 11.9%, making it moderately competitive compared to most fellowships with >100 applicants.

Training Path: Residency

The training pathways for orthopedic surgery vs. hematology-oncology are not the same. To become a hematologist-oncologist, you must complete a three-year fellowship in hematology-oncology after completing an internal medicine residency. Otolaryngology involves a five-year otolaryngology residency.

Hematology-oncology fellowships are typically less competitive than otolaryngology residencies. Your USMLE scores, med school, and research are the main things for residency applications. Research is also a big thing for fellowship applications, and your residency program counts more, but your USMLE scores matter much less.

Otolaryngology vs. Hematology-Oncology: Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is a crucial factor for many medical professionals. Due to the nature of their work, otolaryngologists may have a slightly better work-life balance compared to hematologist-oncologists. Otolaryngologists generally have a more predictable work schedule and may have more chances to take time off. In comparison, hematologist-oncologists often work long hours, including on-call shifts, and may face emotional challenges due to the nature of their work with cancer patients.

Both otolaryngologists and hematologist-oncologists work an average of 52.4 and 52.6 hours per week respectively, placing them above the middle of all medical specialties.

Otolaryngology vs. Hematology and Oncology Estimated Physician Weekly Working Hours by Medical Specialty in the US

Otolaryngologists work an average of 52.4 hours per week, while hematologist-oncologists work almost similar hours at 52.6 per week.

Hematologist-oncologists spend more hours, approximately 18 hours per week, due to extensive diagnostic and follow-up tests. In comparison, spend fewer hours with 14 hours, which is in the middle of all medical specialties.

Otolaryngology vs. Hematology and Oncology Estimated Physician Admin/Paperwork Hours by Medical Specialty in the US

Otolaryngologists work on admin/paperwork an average of 14 hours per week, while hematologist-oncologists work more hours, at 18 per week.

Training Duration and Subspecialties

The training duration is a key aspect to consider when choosing between otolaryngology vs. hematology-oncology. Hematology-oncology has a three-year hematology-oncology fellowship following a three-year internal medicine residency, while otolaryngology has a minimum of five years of otolaryngology residency.

After completing an otolaryngology residency program, some otolaryngologists may choose to pursue additional fellowships to further specialize in a particular aspect of otolaryngology surgery, such as advanced head and neck surgery or rhinology. This can increase the length of their otolaryngology training.

Otolaryngology vs. Hematology-Oncology: Job Satisfaction and Burnout Rates

Job satisfaction plays a significant role in career fulfillment. According to various studies, hematology-oncology tends to have slightly higher job satisfaction rates than otolaryngology. Many hematologist-oncologists express contentment with their career choice and would choose it again if given the chance. However, otolaryngology has slightly lower reported burnout rates than hematology-oncology.

According to recent data, otolaryngology ranked near the upper end of all medical specialties with 91% of otolaryngologists stating that they would choose the same specialty again, while hematology-oncology ranked higher with 94% of hematologist-oncologists feeling the same way.

Job Satisfaction Rate By Medical Specialty in the US

Otolaryngologists reported a 91% job satisfaction rate, while hematologist-oncologists reported higher satisfaction with 94%

That being said, the burnout rate for otolaryngology was 49%, ranking below the middle of all medical specialties. In comparison, hematology-oncology had a burnout rate of 52%, ranking above the middle.

Burnout Rate By Medical Specialty in the US

Otolaryngologists have a burnout rate of 49%, while hematologist-oncologists have a slightly higher burnout rate of 52%.

Otolaryngology vs. Hematology-Oncology Comparison

To provide a visual overview, here’s a table comparing otolaryngology and hematology-oncology:

AspectOtolaryngologyHematology and Oncology
Average Salary High High
Job SecurityHigh demand due to the wide range of conditions treated
High demand due to the prevalence of blood disorders and cancer, aging population
Training PathTypically involves 5 years of otolaryngology residency training

Typically involves 3 years of internal medicine residency followed by a 3-year hematology-oncology fellowship
LifestylePredictable work schedule and may have chances to take time off.Typically regular working hours, but may also have on-call duties
Administrative PaperworkModerate documentation requirementsHigher documentation requirements including detailed patient records and treatment plans
Job SatisfactionHighSlightly higher
Burnout RatesModerateSlightly higher
PersonalityGood hand-eye coordination, ability to handle stress and pressureStrong analytical skills, empathy, ability to deliver difficult news, handle emotional situations

Please note that this table serves as a general comparison. To determine the most suitable career for you, consider your personal and career priorities and goals.

Concluding Thoughts

Choosing the right specialty between otolaryngology vs. hematology-oncology depends heavily on your priorities. To determine this, try reverse engineering your ideal life and identify your top priority. A helpful exercise is to write down the top five things you want to achieve in your career and personal life. Knowing these priorities will make finding a career that aligns with them easier. Often, the biggest obstacle is not a lack of knowledge about different fields but a lack of self-awareness about our own preferences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want FREE Cardiology Flashcards?

Cardiology is key for impressive USMLE scores. Master cardiology from a Harvard-trained anesthesiologist who scored USMLE 270 with these 130+ high-yield flash cards. You’ll be begging for cardio questions - even if vitals make you queasy.