The Surgeon's Course

To see excerpts from the surgical courses, click here.

ICIT was designed to promote excellence in cochlear implantation through comprehensive educational programs. The ICIT course offers recorded lectures for convenient anytime-viewing, live interactive discussions, self-correcting knowledge assessments, home-based workbook, and hands-on temporal bone lab experiences hosted by distinguished experts within the field of cochlear implantation. The ICIT course is an excellent opportunity for surgeons to hone skills in hearing preservation and avoiding complications in cochlear implantation.

The advanced surgical training course is designed to add depth to the basic training and experience provided in residency and fellowship. Topics include Deaf culture, electrical processing, audiology for CI surgeons, auditory neuropathy and deficient cochlear nerve.

Advanced surgical techniques focus on hearing preservation, adaptive cochleostomy, estimation of electrode insertion vector, R/S fixation techniques for current wider/flatter designs, ossification, dysplasia, and very young children.

Course Description

The Institute for Cochlear Implant Training (ICIT) course offers recorded lectures for convenient viewing anytime, live interactive discussions, self-correcting knowledge assessments, home-based workbook, and a hands-on temporal bone lab hosted by distinguished experts within the field of cochlear implantation. A weekly 1-hour web class will also be held for more in-depth training and interaction with each course instructor.

Online Didactic Training

  • 14 weekly modules (30 minutes each)
    • May be completed at any convenient time in the appropriate week
    • Video lecture using Blackboard
    • Knowledge assessment with feedback
    • Learner assessment of module
  • 14 weekly live web classes
    • Early evenings, once per week
    • Recorded for later viewing, if necessary
    • Web-cam audio and video using Blackboard
    • Review and emphasize major points, case discussions, Q&A

Hands-on Microsurgery Temporal Bone Lab
Following completion of the online coursework, a 2½ day hands-on surgical training will be completed. Each surgeon will complete implantation using a half-head and two temporal bones. The Temporal Bone Lab will be limited to 6 participants with multiple instructors available to provide in-depth expertise.

Featured techniques:

  • Fixation of internal cochlear stimulator
  • Hearing Preservation
  • Anatomical dissection of the RWN overhang
  • Adaptive cochleostomy (round window or bony, why, when, how?)
  • Vectors of electrode insertion
  • Surface preparation and drill-out

Apply Now

Expertise in mastoidectomy and FACIAL RECESS (posterior tympanotomy) as well a minimum of 3 cochlear implants completed as primary surgeon, are prerequisites for participation in the Advanced Surgeons Training Course.

To apply for the upcoming course, please send your CV and completed application to

  • Course Dates
  • Temporal Bone Lab

Training Topics



  • History and Introduction to Cochlear Implantation
  • Applied Surgical Anatomy
  • Cochlea and Central Auditory System
  • Cochlear Implant Audiology for Surgeons
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Auditory Neuropathy & Deficient Cochlear Nerve
  • Imaging: Cochlea & Temporal Bone
  • Cochlear Implant Candidacy
  • Deaf Culture & Ethical Considerations
  • Cochlear Implant Electronics & Signal Processing
  • Bilateral Cochlear Implants, Tinnitus & Single Sided Deafness


  • Incision & Fixation
  • Mastoidectomy, Facial Recess, Extended Facial Recess, Promontory
  • Adaptive Cochleostomy & Electrode Insertion for Hearing Conservation
  • Difficult Cases: Ossification, Dysplasia, Very Young Children
  • 2 1/2 - Day Hands-On Surgical Laboratory

Program Instructors

Thomas J. Balkany, MD

Hotchkiss Professor and Chairman Emeritus
Professor of Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics
Department of Otolaryngology
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Simon Angeli, MD

Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology
Director, University of Miami Ear Institute
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Douglas D. Backous, MD, FACS

Puget Sound ENT
Principal, 17Consulting
Seattle, Washington

Nikolas Blevins, MD

Larry and Sharon Malcolmson
Professor, School of Medicine
Stanford University Medical Center

Craig A. Buchman, MD, FACS

Lindburg Professor and Chair
Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery
Washington University in St. Louis

Howard Francis, MD

Director, John Hopkins Listening Center
Professor of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
Johns Hopkins University

David S. Haynes, MD, FACS

Professor of Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, and Hearing and Speech Sciences
Vice-Chair Chief Academic Officer, Department of Otolaryngology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Michael LaRouere, MD

Chief of the Division of Neurotology
Director of Neuroscience, Providence Hospital
Fellowship Director, Michigan Ear Institute

Rodney Lusk, MD

Director, Emeritus
Boys Town Cochlear Implant Program
Boys Town National Research Hospital

William M. Luxford, MD

Clinical Professor of Otolaryngology
University of Southern California School of Medicine
House Ear Clinic, Inc.

Michael A. Novak, MD

Director, Carle Foundation Hospital Expanding Children’s Hearing Opportunities Program
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign

Peter S. Roland, MD

Professor and Chairman Emeritus
Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Teresa A. Zwolan, Ph.D.

Professor and Director
Cochlear Implant Program
Department of Otolaryngology
University of Michigan



Superb experience. I would rate it as one of the best learning experiences I have participated in since completing residency and fellowship. I found the course to be of tremendous value. The topics and organizational structure of the course were superb. They challenged me to think more comprehensively about cochlear implantation. The faculty were actively involved and seem genuinely interested in our professional development. While I have had experience with cochlear implantation prior to the course I found this a tremendous opportunity to refine and - in many ways - add to my current knowledge base and practice patterns. It is always of value to read or study under the influence of such esteemed and experienced faculty and this course is no exception.


- Mark J. Van Ess, DO, FAOCO

Section Chair, Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery, Mercy Clinic, Springfield, MO


The ICIT course is an outstanding opportunity for surgeons to...take their skills and knowledge to a higher level. I came in with a strong foundation from residency and neurotology fellowship, but I found the comprehensive topics covered in the course to fill many of the gaps that I didn't even realize that I had. The course involves small group discussions, independent videos and weekly quizzes... I truly believe that my time in this course has made me a better advocate for my patients and a more skilled surgeon.


- Seth E. Pross, MD

Past: Neurotology Fellow, Johns Hopkins, Current: Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, CA


The ICIT Advanced Surgeons' Training Course reinforces the basics of cochlear implantation in addition to teaching advanced techniques for the otologic surgeon who is already comfortable with implants. The course material is presented in a comprehensive fashion and culminates in a valuable hands-on training experience in an excellent dissection facility.


- Kevin Peng, MD

Past: Neurotology Fellow, House Clinic, Current: Associate, House Clinic


I really enjoyed every minute of our online lectures and the hands-on training. I’m really grateful I’ve had this opportunity... I do feel much more confident about CIs and am very satisfied with the knowledge I acquired. I congratulate you on this comprehensive course, on the quality of the lectures, the material, the speakers, and the hands-on training.


- Henri Traboulsi, MD

Otology Fellow, Christiana Care Medical Center


The Institute for Cochlear Implant Training program offers a comprehensive review of cochlear implant history, technology, and surgical techniques. The weekly topics are covered through in-depth lectures and are supplemented by collegial discussions with many of the leading experts in the field. It is a great course! The hands-on approach provides a unique learning environment that fosters respect for the history of cochlear implant development and motivation to further advance the field.


- Cameron C. Wick, MD

Past: Neurotology Fellow, University of Texas Southwestern, Current: Assistant Professor, University of Washington, St. Louis


…I am able to say with certainty that this course is unique and extremely worthwhile. I already had surgical experience with a number of CIs, but this course was invaluable to take my understanding and skills to the next level.


- Nicholas Jufas, MBBS (Hons), MS, FRACS

Past: Neurotology Fellow Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Current: Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Sidney and Macquarie University, Austrialia


I felt I had a decent exposure to CIs during residency and fellowship but the depth and breadth of the topics covered during the course really expanded my knowledge base. I feel more complete as a physician taking care of patients with different hearing needs.


- Hernan Goldsztein, MD

Pacific ENT, San Diego


I can honestly say that the ICIT course has been the best course I have attended. The comprehensive lectures about the cochlear implantation in addition to excellent hands-on course in a great facility have made this course exceptionally unique, helpful and practical for surgeons.


- Mohammad Seyyedi, MD

Neurotology Fellow, Christiana Hospital, Newark, DE


This course is fantastic. Even though I have had a few years of cochlear implant surgery practice and I am ending a Neuro Otology fellowship I've learned many new things. The syllabus is comprehensive and covers all the issues a surgeon would encounter during a cochlear implant practice. I thoroughly enjoy the weekly classes with the instructors and I'm very grateful to the personal attention Dr Balkany places in our learning. I'd recommend this course as essential to anyone planning to start or early on in their implant practice.


- Peter Santa Maria, MD, PhD

Past: Neurotology Fellow, Stanford University; Current: Assistant Professor, Stanford University


Participating in the Institute for Cochlear Implant Training program has greatly expanded my knowledge of cochlear implantation. The individual lessons combined with live on-line classroom teaching with world experts provides a level of comprehension that is unobtainable from any textbook. No matter their level of expertise, I feel everyone can gain from taking this course.


- Theodore Richardson McRackan, MD

Past: Neurotology Fellow, House Clinic, Current: Assistant Professor, Medical University of South Carolina


The Institute for Cochlear Implant Training has given me a deeper understanding of cochlear implantation. Having a weekly opportunity to pick the brain of leading experts in the field has been priceless!


- Candice Colby, MD

Past: Neurotology Fellow, University of Minnesota; Current: Michigan Ear Institute


This course has been great. The online courses were nice because they made you do a little bit every week and the live web classes let us see how different people were doing things around the country and really discuss those.


- J. Drew Prosser, MD

Past: Fellow, Cincinnati Children's Hospital; Current: Assistant Professor, Georgia Regents University