Report by Amama Alhusari, 4th Year Medical Student, University of Leeds, UK.
The Spring Meeting of the North of England Otolaryngology Society was held virtually over two evenings in March via Zoom, with over 200 attendees. The physical meeting was initially scheduled to take place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, however a year into the pandemic, online meetings have become the new normal. Each evening was scheduled with a wide range of speakers and guests. We were warmly welcomed to each meeting by the President, Mr John Frewer.
On the first evening, this was followed by talk from Professor Sir John Burn. This was a very interesting topic about genomic medicine and the future. It summarised the developments from early discoveries until now. Professor Nouraei and Mr O’Hara debated whether laryngopharyngeal reflux is a myth. The lively debate was expertly chaired by Mr Sean Loughran who also presided over the live voting before and after the debate. As is tradition, trainees and medical students took centre stage to present their projects. Michael Mather won the prize for best presentation for his topic, development of a physiological model of middle ear epithelium. Posters were displayed virtually, and the prize was given to Robert Taylor for his work on the impact of COVID-19 on head and neck services. I was delighted to be awarded the prize for best presentation by a medical student.
The second meeting hosted by Miss Isma Iqbal and Mr Nick Dawe, the Spring meeting organisers, showcased Miss Natalie Lowe’s George Seed prize-winning presentation on her novel research and an inspiring narrative from Miss Archana Jaiswal’s fellowship to North America. There was a heavy rhinology focus for the rest of the evening with fascinating speakers from our allied specialties, Dr Kate Musgrave (haematology) on the use of DOACS, Dr Harsha Kariyawasam CRS and biologics, before returning to ENT surgery for the trainees’ chosen topic of the cocaine nose by Mr Ullas Raghavan.
Interestingly, both evenings concluded with more general topics; ST3 skills and competencies and a Q&A on consent. I suspect Professor Wilson’s ICONS course will be oversubscribed for some time to come.
As a student, interested in a surgical career, I found it very inspiring to see the wide range of speakers and topics and the diversity within the panel. It was a great experience to be part of the spring meeting.
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