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Paula Bradley interviews Professor Gerard O’Donoghue, President Elect, Otology Section Council; Royal Society of Medicine on the upcoming ‘Otology Dragons’ Den’ event.



Tell me a bit about the proposed event? When is it? Where?

This event, the ‘Otology Dragons’ Den’, is the Royal Society of Medicine Otology Section Winter Meeting and will be taking place at the RSM in London on Friday 5 December 2014 (from 2pm). The plan is to spend an afternoon celebrating innovation in otology.

What is the format?

We are inviting ENT trainees and young consultants to present their innovative ideas, including the development or application of new technologies, improved ways of working, novel ways of teaching and training, and new approaches to research and audit. The ideas will be judged by a panel of experts known for their experience of innovation and quality improvement in healthcare. Each presenter will be ‘interrogated’ by the panel, much like the format of the ‘Dragons’ Den’.

What is the aim?

I hope that this will be an entertaining and interesting event, but with a serious message i.e. recognising innovation in our specialty.

Who can apply?

Any ENT trainee or young consultant is welcome to submit an idea for this event.

How many proposals do you expect to showcase?

We are hoping to showcase the eight best ideas on the day.

Who will the Dragons be?

There will be four Dragons, all of whom are recognised as medical innovators and have agreed to enter into the spirit of this event! Mr B Sethia, the incoming RSM President, has kindly agreed to take part. Professor Tony Young, Professor of Innovation from East Anglia University, will be giving a guest lecture and will also be a Dragon. We also have Dr Jim Roberts, an anaesthetist from UCL who is well recognised as a medical innovator. The fourth Dragon is still to be confirmed – watch this space! Professor Tony Narula will be chairing the session and keeping the Dragons in line!

How much are the entrepreneurs pitching for?

Unfortunately the Dragons will not have a pile of cash on their desk! There will be a small prize for the best idea, though the real prize will be winning the ‘RSM Otology Section Award for Innovation’.

Will there be more than one winner?

No, just the best idea!

How long is the pitch?

Each idea will be allocated 8 to 10 minutes. It is up to the presenter how they would like to ‘pitch’ their idea to give the maximum impact and engage the Dragons (and the audience). We welcome untested concepts and new ideas, and are not expecting fully worked business plans; though some idea of how an idea might be funded will be expected.

Will it be part of the RSM meeting or separate to it?

The Dragons’ Den presentations and the guest lecture will make up the RSM Otology Section afternoon meeting. Council is keen to actively involve trainees and young consultants in the programme and we hope this session will meet that goal.

Is there a prize?

Yes – the winner will receive the RSM Section of Otology Prize for Innovation, a very nice accolade and an award that will certainly adorn one’s CV.

Can applicants present as groups?

We would welcome group applications, though given the time available it might not be possible to have more than two people actually pitching the idea.


Further information From Mr Steve Broomfield FRCS, Hon Asst Secretary:


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Paula Bradley

BA (Hons), MRCS, DOHNS, Cumberland Royal Infirmary, Northern Deanery, UK.

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