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Declan Costello,
Editor, ENT & Audiology News;
Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon,
Wexham Park Hospital,
Slough, Berkshire, UK.



The last two years have taken an enormous toll on people’s sense of wellbeing and happiness. Nowhere is this more true than in the medical profession and, in particular, in those on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. So, for ENT & Audiology News May/Jun 2022, we have brought together a series of articles focusing on wellbeing in the ENT profession.

In an amazingly frank and open article, one anonymous author tells us about their battles with addiction. Interestingly, the other articles, which cover a range of topics from mentoring through burnout and human error, all highlight the importance of teams. We sometimes underestimate the importance of team working and how central it is to our sense of person and place. Prof Ann Hermansson tells us that in Sweden, the concept of ‘fika’ is used to describe social interactions amongst work colleagues. As Peter Brennan and Rachel Oeppen tell us, team working and good communication are also essential in minimising medical errors. The term ‘burnout’ has come to prominence in the last few years, and Christian Macutkiewicz provides some useful diagnostic pointers, as well as some practical ways of avoiding and treating it. And hearing about a different kind of team, Emma Stapleton and Rohma Abrar tell us that the relationship between mentor and mentee is often very mutually beneficial.

It is interesting that we are now unsurprised to see articles written by surgeons focusing on mental health. When I was researching this topic, a psychiatrist who specialises in mental health problems in doctors jokingly said to me, “I am delighted to hear that surgeons’ mental health is now ‘a thing’”. Long may we continue to look after our ourselves and our colleagues.

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Declan Costello

MA, MBBS, FRCS(ORL-HNS), Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire, UK

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