GUEST SECTION EDITORS
ST7 at Manchester Royal Infirmary,
Department of ENT,
Manchester Royal Infirmary,
Prof Ray Clarke,
BA, BSc, DCH FRCS, FRCS(ORL),
Consultant Paediatric ENT Surgeon,
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital,
Associate Postgraduate Dean for the Northwest of England.
The history of ENT and audiology is a fascinating subject: it is vital to our understanding of ENT surgery and audiology’s origins, and how our practices today have been shaped. We hope the March/April 2021 content will inspire those new to the subject, and provide fresh perspectives to those who are already well-read in it.
The history of medicine in general has been criticised over the years for being written almost exclusively from the perspective of male, European doctors. We have borne this in mind when collating the articles to demonstrate the diversity of people and disciplines that have contributed to ENT and audiology through the ages.
Medical historian, Dr Laura Dawes, writes about Irene and Alexander Ewing’s work in audiology and the early diagnosis of deaf children, complemented by Dr Sue Archbold’s article about surgeon, Edith Whetnall, who built on the Ewing’s legacy and still informs Archbold’s own practice.
Ms Katherine Conroy and Mr Yakubu Karagama take us on a journey from 1920s Alabama to present-day Sub-Saharan Africa, tracing the career of pioneering deaf educator, Andrew Foster. We then travel back in time to ancient India, where Ayurvedic Medicine gives birth to rhinoplasty, evidenced by Sushruta’s extraordinary manuscripts, as told by Mr Vijay Pothula. We finish in 19th century Germany, where sword swallowers provided unlikely inspiration for the forefathers of endoscopy.
Whilst singling out individuals in this collection we do not wish to gloss over the importance of their collaborators and colleagues in these achievements; moreover, if we wrote about all those who provided significant contributions to ENT and audiology it would fill several volumes. However, we hope this varied and wide-ranging selection echoes Isaac Newton’s famous sentiment: “If I see further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”.