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

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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: comms@rcsed.ac.uk 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.

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