Due to the Covid Pandemic the Observership requirement for the GOLF program is currently on hold. More updates will be made as they become available.


  • The Fellowship

    There are no global standards of training, practice and level of care for patients with neoplasms of the Head and Neck. There are significant variations in the quality and levels of care in various geographic locations in the world. The International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) has collaborated with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to develop an On line Fellowship program in Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, known as the Global On Line Fellowship (GOLF). The goal of the global online fellowship is to create a program to teach and train young surgeons and test their knowledge and thought processes. To achieve this, relative uniformity of knowledge base and judgment are measured and certified by specialists, through online education with continuous updating and monitoring of their knowledge base.

    GOLF is open to surgeons, with training to qualify for Board examination in their home country, anywhere in the world. The course of study requires self-learning through a structured course in a ONE year curriculum developed by an international committee of surgeons, and oncologists, with three quarterly online exams followed by an oral examination before an international panel. The oral examination is also conducted on an online platform like Zoom. As an integral part of this on line the fellowship program, candidates are also required to do a one month observership at one of the 35 approved observership sites around the globe. The observership may be completed either during the year of the online fellowship or soon thereafter. Upon successful completion of the program (all examinations and observership), the fellow receives a certificate in head and neck surgery and oncology.

    Such certification will testify that the candidates have acquired an established global standard of core knowledge, and matured their judgment process through self education and successful completion of all examinations.

    Candidates who show outstanding performance on the Written Examination and final Oral Examination are granted the certificate with Honors. The certificate with Honors may assist in advancement of academic careers.

    Twenty experts serve on the written examination committee, which develops the quarterly multiple choice examination questions. Twenty-five to thirty senior leaders in Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology from around the world, participate in the oral examination of the fellowship.


    ORAL EXAM (%)
    2014 98 N/A N/A N/A
    2015 78 N/A N/A N/A
    2016 74 93 89 (96%) 0
    2017 41 66 57 (86%) 3
    2018 42 63 55 (87%) 9
    2019 48 25 23 (92%) 3
    2020 41 59 44 10
    2021 40 40 30 9
    2022 51 53 41 7

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  • Course Curriculum

    • Surgical Anatomy
    • History and Basic Principles of Head and Neck Surgery
    • Epidemiology, Etiology and Pathology
    • Diagnostic Radiology of the Head and Neck
    • Tumors of the Scalp, Skin and Melanoma
    • Eyelids and Orbit
    • Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinuses
    • Skull Base and Temporal Bone
    • Lips and Oral Cavity
    • Pharynx and Esophagus
    • Larynx and Trachea
    • Cervical Lymph Nodes
    * Video viewing of operative techniques on the IFHNOS website
    • Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands
    • Salivary Glands
    • Neurogenic Tumors and Paragangliomas
    • Soft Tissue Tumors
    • Bone Tumors and Odontogenic Lesions
    • Reconstructive Surgery
    • Oncologic Dentistry and Maxillofacial Prosthetics
    • Principles of Radiation Oncology
    • Principles of Systemic Therapy
    • Molecular Oncology, Genomics and Immunology
    • Nutrition
    • Biostatistics

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  • Time Line

    Applications Open Annually April 1. On line. See application form on Tab above
    Applications Close Annually September 5
    Notification of Acceptance September 15
    Program Begins October 1
    12 Month Text Learning of specific topics per each quarter and video watching of operative procedures
    3 Quarterly Written Online Exams January 17, April 17 and July 17.
    120 minutes of multiple choice written examinations
    1 Month Observership at an Approved Site To be completed at any point during the Fellowship or soon thereafter.
    For a list of Mentors and approved sites for Observership, please see the ‘Approved Observership Sites’ Tab above.
    Virtual Oral Examinations October in Western and Eastern hemispheres

    Examination Dates for 2024 - 2025

    Written - Online (All must be completed)
    January 15, 2025
    April 16, 2025
    July 16, 2025

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  • Requirements


    Applicants must have

    • A minimum of four years of surgical training following completion of medical school and Board certification (or equivalent) in the specialty of general surgery, otolaryngology or plastic surgery, in their home country.
    • Current engagement in Head and Neck Surgery training or practice.
    • Certification and letter of support from the Head of the Department where the candidate conducts his/her clinical activities indicating a commitment by the candidate to the specialty of head and neck surgery and oncology, and current nature and tenure of employment.
    • A complete list of operative procedures performed during the preceding year showing a significant proportion (over 50%) of head and neck cancer/tumor cases, where the candidate was either the operating surgeon or first assistant.
    • Personal statement indicating commitment by the candidate to complete the Fellowship and future career goals to utilize the knowledge gained through this Fellowship.

    The applicant must possess basic knowledge and skills for management of cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, para nasal sinuses, skull base, salivary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, cutaneous cancers, soft tissue and bone tumors, and allied conditions. In addition, exposure to and familiarity with Diagnostic Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology, Endocrinology and Pathology is required. The applicant should also be familiar with the management of patients with major surgery, including metabolism, shock, hemorrhage, sepsis, cardio pulmonary disease, renal and gastro intestinal disorders related to head and neck tumors.

    The fellowship involves a commitment of ONE year of self learning through a structured course curriculum, with periodic online examinations as the program progresses, until completion. It also requires a One month ‘Observership’, at a center of excellence in H&N Surgery. GOLF is not a license, degree or certification for practice of Head Neck Surgery and Oncology in your country. It is a tool to strengthen the knowledge and judgment of Head Neck surgeons and bring them at par with global standards of practice of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology.

    The current version of GOLF is not designed for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, coming thru a degree and training in Dentistry and who’s educational and training curricula and licensing of surgical practice is limited to only some of the topics mentioned above. However, some Maxillofacial surgeons with double degree (Dental and Medical), may be eligible to meet with the requirements as stated above.


    To apply, please complete the Global Online Fellowship in H&N Surgery and Oncology Application by clicking here and submit, along with the required supporting materials, Curriculum Vitae and non-refundable US $100 application processing fee to info@ifhnos.net

    Application Processing Fee: (non-refundable) USD $100
    Course Curriculum & Examination Fee: USD $2,000
    The Course Curriculum and examination fees are to be paid by Dec. 31st of the year of enrollment.

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  • Approved Observership Sites

    Observation Center Mentor Email
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA Richard Wong grossmam@mskcc.org
    M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA Jeffrey Myers MZafereo@mdanderson.org
    University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA Robert Ferris ferrrl@upmc.edu
    University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada Danny Enepekides Danny.Enepekides@sunnybrook.ca
    Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK Peter Clarke peter.clarke@rmh.nhs.uk
    Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK Ricard Simo ricard.simo@gstt.nhs.uk
    University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK Hisham Mehanna h.mehanna@bham.ac.uk
    Lothian Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland Iain Nixon iain.nixon@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk
    Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Ludi Smeele l.smeele@nki.nl
    VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands C. René Leemans cr.leemans@vumc.nl
    University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany Andreas Dietz andreas.dietz@medizin.uni-leipzig.de
    European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy Mohsen Ansarin mohssen.ansarin@ieo.it
    Universita Degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Italy Cesare Piazza ceceplaza@libero.it
    Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic Jan Plzak jan.plzak@lfmotol.cuni.cz
    Greater Poland Cancer Center, Poznan, Poland Wojciech Golusinski wgolus@ump.edu.pl
    Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia Igor Reshetov reshetoviv@mail.ru
    Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel Nidal Muhanna nidalm@tlvmc.gov.il
    Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel Jacob Cohen JA_COHEN@rmc.gov.il
    Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa Johan Fagan Johannes.Fagan@uct.ac.za
    Tata Memorial Center, Mumbai, India Gouri Pantavaidya docgouri@gmail.com
    HCG Cancer Center, Bangalore, India Vishal Rao drvishalrao@yahoo.com
    HCG Aastha Cancer Center, Ahmedabad, India Kaustubh Patel, Dushyant Mandlik, Aditya Joshipura kaustubhpatel19@gmail.com
    Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, India Subramania Iyer subu.amrita@gmail.com
    Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong Velda Chow vlychow@gmail.com
    National Cancer Center, Singapore Gopal Iyer gopaliyer@yahoo.com
    Nanjing Tongren Hospital, Nanjing, China Zhen Kun Yu yuzk@njtrh.org
    Beijing Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China Fang Ju Gao fangjugao@163.com
    Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan Fu-Chan Wei fcw2007@adm.cgmh.org.tw
    Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea Soon-Hyun Ahn ahnsh30@snu.ac.kr
    Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea YoungIk Son youngik.son@gmail.com
    National Cancer Center Hospital East, Chiba, Japan K. Matsuura kmatsuur@east.ncc.go.jp
    Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Sydney, Australia James Wykes James.Wykes@lh.org.au
    Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, Melbourne, Australia Matthew Magarey Matthew.Magarey@petermac.org
    Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia Ben Panizza ben@panizza.com.au
    Instituto Nacional do Cancer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Fernando Dias fdias@inca.gov.br
    A C Camargo Cancer Center, Sao Paulo, Brazil Thiago Celestino Chulan thiagochulam@yahoo.com.br
    Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil Luiz Kowalski lp_kowalski@uol.com.br
    Section of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery University of Padua - “Azienda Ospedale Università di Padova”, Padua, Italy Piero Nicolai pieronicolai@icloud.com
  • International Board Of Directors

    Chairman of the Board
    Jatin Shah, USA
    Sheng Po Hao, Taiwan Sir Murray Brennan, USA Luis Cebrian, Spain Gouri Pantavaidya, India
    Rogerio Dedivitis, Brazil Andreas Dietz, Germany Johann Fagan, S. Africa Gopal Iyer, Singapore
    Se-Heon Kim, S. Korea Renee Leemans, Netherlands Lisa Licitra, Italy Hisham Mehanna, UK
    Jeffrey Myers, USA Piero Nicolai, Italy Sandro Porceddu, Australia Ian Witterick, Canada
    Richard Wong, USA Zhenkun Yu, China

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  • GOLF - Graduates

Address: IFHNOS, Room C-1067, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY. 10065. Tel.: + 1 212 717 3302

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