Let's Talk Surgery: The RCSEd Podcast

Let's Talk Surgery Podcast, Surgical Crossroads: Choosing your specialty - the ENT episode

August 09, 2021 RCSEd Season 8 Episode 1
Let's Talk Surgery: The RCSEd Podcast
Let's Talk Surgery Podcast, Surgical Crossroads: Choosing your specialty - the ENT episode
Show Notes Chapter Markers

We begin our new series focusing on careers and career aspirations with co-host, Sadie Khwaja’s own specialty, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery. Our guests are Consultant Otolaryngologist Emma Stapleton, ENT Registrar Todd Kanzara and medical student Eman Hasan.  

Emma Stapleton is a Consultant Otolaryngologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary where she is also Clinical Lead for the Manchester Cochlear Implant Programme and academic and educational supervisor for Foundation and ENT Trainees.  Among her many other roles within surgery and ENT, she is Regional Surgical Adviser for RCSEd, Honorary Secretary of the North of England Otolaryngology Society and Vice President of WENTS . She is is married with two sons.  

Emma tells us what led her to choose ENT as a specialty and the importance of selecting a specialty which fits with your lifestyle. She highlights the pleasure of transitioning through one’s career to becoming a consultant - embracing challenges and having the freedom to pursue further interests within your specialty. Emma also shares her positive view on being a woman, a mother and a surgeon, pointing out the flexibility within the infrastructure of work and training in the NHS.  

Todd Kanzara is a final year Otolaryngology Specialty Trainee with a special interest in laryngology, thyroid and parathyroid  surgery. He has recently been appointed as a Consultant ENT surgeon at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Todd tells us how he switched from a career in law to medicine, after realising he wanted a profession with a real sense of purpose where he could help others. As a fifth-year medical student he had committed to becoming a urologist, but a chance meeting with an ENT surgeon while volunteering in a soup kitchen led him to consider ENT.

Our medical student this episode is Eman Hasan, in the fifth year of her medicine degree at the University of Liverpool. She became interested in ENT following a week’s work experience, after which she became actively involved in ENT trainee events and completed an eight-week placement with the ENT Department at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool. She is attracted to the specialty by how friendly and welcoming those working in ENT are. 

Our consultant and registrar discuss the key steps towards a career in ENT, emphasising that gaining recognition by being brave and putting yourself out there as a medical student will almost certainly benefit your future career. We look at what makes a good ENT surgeon, including communication skills with patients and the broad nature of the specialty, meaning you can find your own niche. We talk about life outside of ENT surgery and how our guests find ways of linking their profession to the issues that matter to them. Lastly we look to the future and embracing technology to enable collaborative working.  

The take home message from this episode’s medical student is the importance of reinforcing equality and diversity in your future career, and speaking up when you can.

Contact Information
Visit https://www.rcsed.ac.uk/ for further information and details on becoming a member.

Email: [email protected] for any questions or topic suggestions you may have for future episodes.

This show is brought to you by the RCSEd. Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. Hosted by Greg Ekatah, Sesi Hotonu and Sadie Khwaja produced and directed by Heather Pownall of Heather's Media Hub Ltd

[Greg Ekatah - Sadie Khwaja] It would be useful to hear your views regarding the concepts around this virtual careers fair and what you anticipate over the next few episodes.
[GE - SK] If ENT wasn’t a specialty which of the other 15 would you potentially go down the route of? And if not, what else would you do?
Introducing the topic and guests for this episode.
[SK - Emma Stapleton] Starting with our consultant, Emma, let’s talk about the journey of getting to where you are today.
[SK - ES] How do you manage life as a consultant and the challenges that go with that?
[SK - Todd Kanzara] Let’s ask Todd how he's doing through his journey, as he nears the end of his training. How's the last six years of your training been?
[GE - TK] You finished a law degree and decided you wanted to be a doctor, walk me through that … why medicine but more importantly, why ENT?
[SK - Eman Hasan] Let’s have a listen to Eman and see what she feels about what she's heard so far, … also what's her experience so far of ENT.
[SK - EH[ So looking at where you are now, what are the kind of things going through your head to carry on your journey into ENT?
[GE - TK] In terms of the route to registrar what are some of the key steps that Eman needs to be aware of?
[GE - TK] How competitive is ENT? Do you have a sense of what the competition ratio is?
[ES] The benefits of getting recognised and putting yourself out there as a medical student.
[SK - ES] Is there anything that makes you an ENT surgeon in terms of personality or characteristics, or is it a case of have a go and see?
[GE - ES] What is it like to be a consultant ENT surgeon?
[GE - ES] If you can think back to the last 12 months, what's been the most interesting day or the most interesting operation you have had?
[SK - ES] Just to explore the flexibility of training in ENT, and the misconception that surgery is not for women and if you want a family. Where are we with that and what is it like to be a woman in surgery?
[GE - TK] Have you had any out-of-programme experiences? What is an ENT training programme? How does that lend itself to out-of-programme experiences with research and otherwise?
[GE - TK] What's a day in the life of an ENT registrar?
[GE - EH] Are you still inspired by all of this? Are you content with ENT still?
[SK – TK & ES] What are the downsides to ENT? Where do you think you've felt that this wasn't a good day at work, or have I really made the right choice?
[GE] I'm going to give you guys an opportunity to save one surgical instrument that you use on a day-to-day basis in your specialty. If there was only one instrument you could take with you on Noah's Ark, what would it be?
[GE – TK] What are your primary out-of-medicine / out-of-surgery interests that you can share with us?
[GE - TK] What was the motivating factor for you [to start a conversation about racism in the NHS]? What made you think this is something we need to talk about; this is something I need to educate others about?
[SK] Looking forward into the future, where's ENT going to be?
[GE - EH] As a medical student, having heard everything you've heard, what is your biggest take home message?