MA, MBBS, FRCS(ORL-HNS),
Editor, ENT & Audiology News;
Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon,
Wexham Park Hospital,
Slough, Berkshire, UK.
As we approach the end of 2020, we can reflect that we have experienced one of the most tumultuous years in living memory. The pervasive uncertainty in life is extremely unsettling; the only certainty is that everyone’s lives – both professionally and personally – will have been affected by the pandemic.
As I write these words, the UK is experiencing a rapid increase in numbers of patients infected with COVID-19, and the turmoil around the world not only relates to the coronavirus, but in other areas as well: the UK is just entering a critical phase of the Brexit negotiations which, in more normal times, would be dominant in the news agenda but, with the pandemic on its hands, it is hard to know how the government can keep its focus on this critical area of governmental work. And by the time you are reading this, the US will have chosen a new President in what has been the most bitterly-fought election in memory.
On a more positive note, if the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that innovation and flexibility are alive and well in the ENT world, and indeed in the world in general. Every sphere of life and medical practice has had to move quickly: in medicine, new pieces of equipment have been invented and brought to market extremely rapidly, and none of this could have happened without the intelligence and drive of innovators around the world. At the heart of these innovations is the benefit of patients, but many new developments have focused on the safety of clinicians, particularly in the area of personal protective equipment (PPE). Chris Coulson (an entrepreneur and innovator himself) has brought together articles that look at both the process of developing new ideas, and also some specific examples. You can read his introduction here.
In our Audiology Features section, we look at the topic of tinnitus, which is an immensely common problem, and still difficult to manage. You can read more here.
It is always wonderful to hear from our friends around the world, and our Global Ambassadors are our ‘eyes and ears’ in different parts of the globe. Keep an eye out in the coming months as we feature more discussions amongst them.
The conversation on social media is always lively, and we are always happy to hear from our readers – please join the discussions by following us on Twitter at @ENT_AudsNews.
Finally, we like to check in with our readers from time to time to find out how you are enjoying ENT & Audiology News. We would greatly appreciate if you could take five minutes to complete a very short reader survey, which you can access at www.entandaudiologynews.com/survey.