Report by: Dr Miran Pankhania, ST8 Specialty Trainee in Otolaryngology
The British Rhinological Society (BRS) annual meeting is the third Friday in May each year. It is dedicated to creating a friendly forum for all those interested in rhinology and anterior skull base surgery.
After an incredibly successful European Rhinological Society meeting in London in 2018, the society focused its attention on trainees and training. This year’s main BRS conference was preceded by a free-to-attend trainee’s day with almost 100 delegates, including students, and was sponsored by Medtronic.
Issues pertinent to all levels of training were covered including preparing for and planning fellowships in rhinology, learning to operate as a junior trainee, how to maximise learning as a trainee, credentialing, the future of rhinology, and a fantastically-attended networking social evening. Professor Martin Desrosiers delivered a thought-provoking lecture on the role of immunologic treatment in rhinology and emphasised the strong role rhinologists have as part of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) in managing complex nasal and respiratory disease. Delegates spoke very highly of the opportunity to meet peers and consultants as well as to gain insight into sub-specialisation from well-respected rhinologists.
Many trainees also stayed on for the main BRS conference on the Friday across the river Clyde in the Glasgow Science Centre. The bar was raised this year by several excellent trainee research papers looking at the role of staphylococcus aureus in chronic rhinosinusitis, MRI in surgical diagnostics and planning, and even 3D printed septal buttons amongst others. Standards in rhinology were discussed by Brian Bingham stressing the importance of ENT in the undergraduate curriculum and highlighting potential threats to the specialty in years to come.
A robust pitch and solid question answering from Mr Simon Goldie, currently working in Southampton, ensured he made this year’s research grant his and will use this to support his PhD further investigating the role of staphylococcus aureus in chronic rhinosinusitis.
Prof Desrosiers delivered the Storz lecture on immunology in rhinology, elaborating on the role of the microbiome and the importance of phenotyping patients to better direct treatment. Professor Valerie Lund delivered a fascinating lecture on rhinology in the past, present, and future before receiving a commemorative award from BRS President, Professor Claire Hopkins.
The importance of rhinology in the real world, however, could not be emphasised any better than in the incredibly entertaining invitational talk on olfaction in the whisky industry by Whyte & Mackay owner, Robert Paterson, most importantly demonstrating the correct methods to nose a dram of whisky.
So I raise this complementary miniature dram of whisky in anticipation of next year’s BRS meeting in Sheffield on 15 May 2020, wishing Mr Showkat Mirza and Mr Matthew Oluwole all the very best in organising another successful BRS meeting.