WENTS & Friends

WENTS UK

A podcast series by Women in ENT Surgery UK. WENTS & Friends is about stimulating discussions that revolve around diversity and inclusivity with a view to learning more about the traits that make us unique. Through dialogue, we celebrate the experiences of all peoples within and beyond medicine, with a view to fostering better understanding of our individual journeys and fellowship in our commonalities. Hopefully, leading to a more equitable and thriving healthcare space. WENTS & Friends ...come join us!

Surgical training: the trainees’ perspective
Oct 6 2022
Surgical training: the trainees’ perspective
In the second part of our focus on training, it’s time for the trainees to have their say! Ravina Tanna and Tanya Ta are joined by three enthusiastic ENT trainees. TalisaRoss is an ENT ST3 registrar in North Thames Deanery and an academic clinical fellow. Stefan Lindon recently obtained his ST3 number in ENT and started working in Edinburgh. He was formerly an educational fellow at Salford Royal Foundation Trust. Sam Dewhurst is an ST8 trainee in the east of England, currently working at Peterborough City Hospital.We cover a lot of ground in this episode and get some really honest opinions on the contentious issues in ENT training. We start with an insight into the trainee experience of Covid-19, and the impact this has had on training. There have been positives, such as opportunities to develop a level of expertise and to take on additional responsibilities outside the usual remit of trainees. But inevitably, these are outweighed by the negative effect on the breadth of specialty and operative exposure. The impact of the pandemic is ongoing for trainees in terms of the pressure to balance service provision with training requirements in the face of a huge backlog of work.We have a frank discussion about the national selection process, core surgical versus run-through training and less-than-full-time training. While some of our panel think the last-minute changes to the national selection process caused stress and anxiety, others point out that elements of an interview should be unknown and challenging to test the core skills for a surgeon of adaptability and dynamic problem-solving. All, however, agree that more structure in the process should be established. The panel also agree that core surgical training is in some ways less fit for purpose than when it was originally introduced. With this in mind, we discuss the pros and cons of run-through training and the potential problems around having two tiers of trainees. The panel’s heartfelt tips and advice for those who have not been successful in obtaining their ST3 number is essential listening for all trainees. They advise being honest with yourself, planning for different outcomes, and learning from experience and feedback.We close with our guests’ views on how the training process could be improved. Supportive training is the ideal, with a focus on individual strengths. We also discuss the importance of holding teaching centres accountable for high-quality training provision. Last on the wish list is giving trainees more opportunity to pursue interests in other areas which will ultimately make them more rounded and capable clinicians, educators, and managers. The final consensus of the panel is that over time the system is realizing what works and things are slowly but surely going in the right direction. WENTS & Friends is the official podcast for Women in ENT Surgery UK (entuk.org/wents-uk).Follow us on Twitter @UKWENTs. Email: wents@entuk.org  any questions or suggestions on topics you may have for future episodes.This season’s episodes are hosted by Ekpemi Irune @ENTmimi, Emma Stapleton @otolaryngolofox, Nina Mistry @nina3mistry, Ravina Tanna, @DrRavinaTanna and Tanya Ta @veggiequallifeProduced and directed by Heather Pownall @heathershub of Heather's Media Hub Ltd.
Surgical training: the trainers' perspective
Sep 22 2022
Surgical training: the trainers' perspective
In our next episodes we will be taking a closer look at surgical training from the perspectives of both trainers and trainees. We’re starting with the trainers, and hosts Ravina Tanna and Tanya Ta are joined by an expert panel of senior ENT consultants, all heavily involved in surgical training around the UK.Ann-Louise McDermott is a consultant paediatric ENT surgeon at Birmingham Children's Hospital. She has been on the Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) for six years and the Otolaryngology SAC chair for the last year. She also sits on the Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Exams (JCIE) as the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) representative. She has been involved in national selection for many years.Taran Tatla is an ENT head and neck surgeon working at London Northwest University Healthcare NHS Trust where he has been a consultant for 14 years. He has been a training program director for North Thames Deanery for ENT higher surgical training for the last four years and clinical research lead for his local clinical research network for the last 10 years.Samit Ghosh is an ENT consultant at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Trust in Greater Manchester. Having previously been a head neck consultant he now specialises in rhinology and facial plastic surgery. He is the Training Programme Director for North West England and with Taran Tatla he sits on NAPDENT – the National Association of Program Directors in ENT. We start by discussing the huge impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on surgical training. Much has been heard from the trainee side, but we were interested to hear the trainers’ view. Some ENT services have been disproportionately hit, whilst in other parts of the specialty exposure for trainees increased because of Covid, resulting in different challenges and opportunities for training.  Making up for trainees' missed experience requires flexibility and creativity in terms of workforce planning, as well as mentoring and support to build confidence. However, the legacy of the pandemic is not all bad with innovation and teamwork at a national level leading to a wealth of online educational material, as well as new approaches to delivering training and care which we can take forward. Ravina and Tanya take the opportunity to quiz our panel on the issue of national selection, looking at the pros and cons of the virtual format and the specific issues facing ENT in terms of workforce planning. The panel give us their own expert tips on navigating this complex process and achieving the best career outcomes. Planning and working towards your goals early is key! We also discuss run-through and core surgical training pathways and hear about promising reforms in these areas. It is reassuring for trainees to hear that there are many different routes to get to where you want to go, and in many cases alternative pathways present real opportunities for wider growth and development. WENTS & Friends is the official podcast for Women in ENT Surgery UK (entuk.org/wents-uk).Follow us on Twitter @UKWENTs. Email: wents@entuk.org  any questions or suggestions on topics you may have for future episodes.This season’s episodes are hosted by Ekpemi Irune @ENTmimi, Emma Stapleton @otolaryngolofox, Nina Mistry @nina3mistry, Ravina Tanna, @DrRavinaTanna and Tanya Ta @veggiequallife Produced and directed by Heather Pownall @heathershub of Heather's Media Hub Ltd.
The M Word: Breaking the Taboo
Apr 4 2022
The M Word: Breaking the Taboo
“Why is it that women's health is secondary and treated as a taboo? Why is it that women's issues are seen as private, shameful, or even made fun of and diminished? Why is it that a basic physiological need and all of the related symptoms are ignored?”Join us as we address these questions, and more, in this honest and enlightening podcast from WENTS & Friends, lifting the lid on menstruation and menopause, looking at the impact on our busy and intense working lives as doctors and surgeons.Host Nina Mistry first interviews the journalist writer, speaker, and organizer in women's rights and feminist approaches to social change, Karen Pickering about the pervasive nature of the menstrual taboo and what we must do to dismantle it. Nina is also joined by three panellists to discuss their experiences within the NHS and the corporate world and how we can bring about change and break the taboo. Rosie Baruah is a consultant in intensive care medicine and anaesthesia with a research interest in gender equity and medicine, which extends to menstruation provision in the workplace (www.heygirls.co.uk/period-poverty). Lauren Chiren runs the organisation, Women of a Certain Stage , which raises awareness of the menopause in the press and media and works with organizations to help them understand why being menopause supportive is business savvy and FREE Menopause The Basics course. Helen Cocks is a consultant ENT surgeon and clinical director of head and neck surgery in Sunderland. Like Lauren, she is going through the menopause herself and openly shares her experience with us.We discuss how ill-equipped hospitals currently are to support those who are menstruating and menopausal at both a practical and emotional level, despite these groups making up the majority of the NHS workforce.To bring about change requires those who are passionate about the issues to speak out and share experiences. Policymaking plays an important role in giving formal recognition to the importance of these issues and the benefits to organizations are huge in terms of employee wellbeing and return on investment. Normalizing menstruation and the menopause requires a huge shift in mindset across society and the workforce, not least in some cases by women themselves, who have been ingrained with the patriarchal idea that any sign of physiological difference denotes inferiority, especially in traditionally male dominated industries like our own.We hope this conversation is a step in the right direction, promoting a positive culture around the topic of menstruation, opening the door to better working conditions in our industry and starting to break that taboo.Get in touchWENTS & Friends is the official podcast for Women in ENT Surgery UK (entuk.org/wents-uk).Follow us on Twitter @UKWENTs. Email: wents@entuk.org for any questions or suggestions on topics you may have for future episodes.This season’s episodes are hosted by Ekpemi Irune @ENTmimi, Emma Stapleton @otolaryngolofox and Nina Mistry @nina3mistry. Produced and directed by Heather Pownall @heathershub of Heather's Media Hub Ltd. Created and co-produced by Ekpemi Irune.We would like to thank our sponsors Karl Storz for their kind support.
Changing the Culture
Oct 29 2021
Changing the Culture
In this episode, Emma Stapleton speaks with three influential board members of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) about issues of diversity, inclusivity, merit and advocacy in a long-established institution, as well as in our own positions in the wider NHS and the global healthcare community.Dr Claire Bayntun is a clinical consultant in global public health and the director of global leadership programs. She is accredited as an executive coach and assessor of emotional intelligence and coaches health leaders from around the world. She is also an assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an honorary consultant at Public Health England. Claire’s work at the RSM includes chairing the education committee and leading the development of the RSM COVID-19 series of webinars.Professor Nikhil Patel is an experienced senior consultant cardiologist who was appointed in 1999 as the youngest consultant cardiologist in the country, and is now a deputy chief of medicine and cardiovascular lead. Prof Patel pioneered new technologies with his eminent colleagues, many of which have been featured in the media. He also undertakes a range of educational roles, overseeing training programs and supervising research degrees. He was elected as chair of the RSM’s academic board in 2019.Dr Sarah Filson is an infectious diseases doctor of Ghanaian origin. She has been training in London and is currently at Harvard studying for a masters in public health. She is  a trainee member of the RSM board of trustees where she plays a hugely influential role in the forward-looking direction of the RSM and in widening access to medicine.The panel discuss the challenge of trying to engage the next generation in a 200-year old institution such as the RSM. By focussing on equality, diversity and inclusion to reflect societal changes and what's happening in the NHS,  the RSM aims to enrich what it has to offer to its members, to society, and to the global medical community. We learn how the board is actively monitoring these issues, as well as lobbying and advocating to address health inequalities that have a direct impact on clinical outcomes. The conversation also covers the importance of diversity in creating stronger teams and improving the health and wellbeing of communities. We readdress perceptions around tokenism and imposter syndrome in leadership roles and discuss the concept of Allyship – supporting people to take their place at the table. Our panel share their personal insights and advice on what we can do to promote diversity and address inequality. Simple but powerful tools such as compassion and finding common ground are sometimes the most effective in bringing about change.Get in touchWENTS & Friends is the official podcast for Women in ENT Surgery UKVisit entuk.org/wents-uk for further information and details on becoming a WENTS UK member.Email: wents@entuk.org for any questions or suggestions on topics you may have for future episodes.This show is brought to you by WENTS UK. Follow us on Twitter @UKWENTs. This season’s episodes are hosted by Ekpemi Irune @ENTmimi, Emma Stapleton @otolaryngolofox and Nina Mistry @nina3mistry. Produced and directed by Heather Pownall @heathershub of Heather's Media Hub Ltd. Created and co-produced by Ekpemi Irune. We would like to thank our sponsors Karl Storz for their kind support.
Forging Ahead
Jun 14 2021
Forging Ahead
Our first episode launches with a bang, with a truly enlightening conversation between WENTS President and host Ekpemi Irune and three highly respected ENT surgeons who challenge the status quo and inspire their peers – Prof. Janet Wilson, Prof. Vin Paleri and Mr Guri Sandhu share their personal perceptions and experiences of diversity in the medical space.Janet Wilson is Professor of Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Newcastle University and Past President of the British Laryngological Association.  Professor Wilson has held the substantive chair in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Newcastle University since 1995 and is only the second female to be appointed to a UK chair in ENT. Vin Paleri is a Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon at the Royal Marsden Hospital and Professor of Robotics and Endoscopic Head and Neck Surgery at the Institute of Cancer Research, London.  Prof. Paleri pioneered trans-oral robotic surgery in the UK and has the largest experience in the country. He is the current President of the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists.Guri Sandu is a Consultant Laryngologist, Head and Neck Surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospitals in London, with honorary contracts at the Royal Brompton Hospital.  Mr. Sandu set up the National Centre for Airway Reconstruction in London, comprising a multidisciplinary team of specialists with an interest in airway problems.  He is the President of the British Laryngological Association and is highly regarded internationally as an invited speaker.In this full and frank conversation, Prof. Wilson, Prof. Paleri and Mr Sandhu discuss their experience of the constraints faced by women in surgery and their personal experiences of discrimination. They share their own stories about how and why they have thrived in their chosen careers and give invaluable advice to listeners about career progression, including some candid truths about what it takes to succeed.  We cover changes in attitude between the different generations within the hierarchy of medicine and how our guests deal with these.  The surgeons tell us how they intend to use their influence to empower women in surgery and others that feel unrepresented. We also discuss life outside of and after a career in surgery, how this can be better supported and the challenges of retiring from a high-profile medical career. For more inspiring conversations which raise and debate difficult issues that affect surgeons, be sure to subscribe to this podcast to receive alerts on new episodes as they are released. Please do rate and review this podcast below. Get in touchWENTS & Friends is the official podcast for Women in ENT Surgery UKVisit entuk.org/wents-uk for further information and details on becoming a WENTS UK member.Email: wents@entuk.org for any questions or suggestions on topics you may have for future episodes.This show is brought to you by WENTS UK. Follow us on Twitter @UKWENTs. This season’s episodes are hosted by Ekpemi Irune @ENTmimi, Emma Stapleton @otolaryngolofox and Nina Mistry @nina3mistry. Produced and directed by Heather Pownall @heathershub of Heather's Media Hub Ltd. Created and co-produced by Ekpemi Irune.We would like to thank our sponsors Karl Storz for their kind support.