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What’s the difference between an ENT doctor and a primary care physician?

Ear, nose and throat disorders can severely impact one’s daily life. People who suffer from chronic sinusitis experience severe headaches, facial pressure and congestion for months on end. These symptoms can prevent you from carrying on daily activities, drastically impacting your quality of life. If you find yourself missing out on work or important social events due to ear, nose and throat problems, it’s time to consult with an ENT specialist or an otolaryngologist.

How do I choose an ENT doctor?

Board Certification
The most important factor to take into account when choosing an otolaryngologist is board certification. The largest international certification organization for the treatment of the ear, nose and throat is the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABO). To qualify for certification, physicians must complete a four-year college degree, four years of medical school and at least five years of specialty training; they must then pass the ABO examination.

Experience
In order to find an ENT doctor that is best suited for you, compile a list of otolaryngologists in your area, eliminating any candidates who are not listed as board-certified. Then research how long have they’ve been practicing; the more experience a physician has, the more expertise and options they will be able to offer their patients.

Awards, Recognition and Publications
Any public involvement or recognition speaks to the expertise of the doctor and to their commitment in the field. A quick search online will reveal whether a doctor has a presence outside of his/her practice, which could indicate dedication to staying abreast of the latest research and techniques. Publications can also indicate the doctors’ credibility as well as willingness to share their knowledge for the benefit of the medical field and community. Find out if the doctor is involved with any types of medical organizations. A bonus is if the doctor has been featured in national and international medical publications as a medical expert on a variety of subjects.

In summary, if you suffer from allergies, sinus pressure and pain, or any other ENT related problems, seek the assistance of a qualified ENT specialist.

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