by Chris Aldren

I’m delighted to tell you about the exciting Otology Programme I have put together with the help of my Secretary, Ian Bottrill, and the Royal Society Medicine (RSM) committee. I’ve tried to make this a very practical programme so you can take away tips which will benefit everyday practice. I’ve also thrown in a few entertainments which I hope will be enjoyed by all.

On November 1 Professor Bruce Gantz will give the Toynbee Lecture on his experience in otology with a focus on hearing preservation cochlear implant surgery. Bruce is the Head of the Iowa ENT Department and has remarkable experience in all aspects of otology. I will then give my presidential address. I have a particular interest in music and will look at psychoacoustics, auditory illusions and how they influence the music we hear. The meeting will be followed by a short musical concert performed by my three professional musician children.

On December 6 we are fortunate to have Dennis Poe, from Boston, sharing his knowledge of the functioning of the Eustachian tube and management of its disorders. In the second half of this meeting, a round table of UK otologists will join Denis and tell us how they manage the daily otological problems that challenge us all.

The February 7 meeting will have a scientific focus. There will be three trainee free papers with the Mathew Yung Prize awarded to the winner and a TWJ short fellowship to Beziers, France, for the runner-up. Helge Rask Andersen, from Uppsala, has amazed many of us over decades with his remarkable images of the inner ear ultrastructure, including superb 3D micro CT reconstructions of the temporal bone. Professor Abigail Tucker, from Kings College in London, will talk on the embryology of the middle ear with a focus on practical aspects.

On March 6 Mood Bhutta will present a talk on global hearing issues and solutions, and Neil Weir will look back at his wonderful 30-year project with British Nepal Otology Service (BRINOS). Andrew Parker will talk about the recently legally recognised condition of acoustic shock. In a case of a musician who suffered from this whilst working at the Royal Opera House, Andrew’s evidence helped the player win £700,000 in compensation. This landmark case has immense implications for the music industry and all of us who see patients with noise induced hearing loss. Finally, Caroline Anderson will give us a talk on essential otology and audiology apps. Find out what you should have on your phone.

At the May 2020 meeting Robert Vincent, from the Causse Clinic in Beziers, will give the JLO Visiting Professorship Lecture on advances in ossiculoplasty. He is a wonderfully talented surgeon who has developed a number of novel techniques. This session will also feature an entertaining lecture from John Oates looking back at lessons learned from his career in stapes surgery. James Ramsden will take us through the latest techniques of implantable hearing aids. Finally, Duane Mol, from South Africa, will present on the management of far advanced otosclerosis. As well as a master ear surgeon, Duane is a top magician and will entertain us after the lecture with one of this remarkable magic shows to round off what I hope will be a magical programme.

Christopher Aldren

MA, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCS(ORL), Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, UK.

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