The ASCENT core committee supported by the undergraduate ENT Societies of the Cambridge and Norwich Medical Schools hosted the 1st East of England Undergraduate & Foundation Otorhinolaryngology Conference on Saturday 6th October 2018 at the School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge. The conference team was led by the Student & Foundation Doctors in Otorhinolaryngology (SFO-UK) Regional Representatives for Cambridge and Norwich, Bhavesh Tailor and Ngan Hong Ta (Tanya Ta) respectively. We welcomed 105 delegates from across the UK and 16 abstracts submitted for oral and poster presentations.
The theme of the conference was collaboration and the importance of strengthening regional efforts to promote ENT to the next generation of students and foundation doctors. We also aimed to promote current research in otorhinolaryngology from the East Anglia region and further afield.
The conference hosted two eminent keynote speakers – Prof. Manohar Bance and Prof. Carl Philpott – pioneers of academic ENT in the East of England region. Prof. Bance delivered an inspiring talk about the need to develop new diagnostic technologies in order to further our understanding of the underlying mechanisms and pathophysiology in hearing disorders. Prof. Philpott’s keynote talk was delivered jointly with Duncan Boak, the Founder & Chair of Fifth Sense, providing an insight into the clinician and patient perspectives of people affected by smell and taste disorders.
Mr Matthew Smith, specialist registrar and chair of INTEGRATE (The National ENT Trainee Research Collaborative), facilitated a consensus meeting whereby audience members were invited to suggest and vote on ideas for interventions to improve access to and opinions of ENT training. The remainder of the day consisted of a series of interactive workshops encompassing ENT emergencies, audiology, women in ENT, ENT global health, collaborative research, surgical portfolio and the academic training pathway.
All in all, the 1st East of England Undergraduate & Foundation Otorhinolaryngology Conference has successfully created fantastic opportunities for younger trainees to participate in academic conferences, to learn from inspiring senior ENT surgeons and to network with a national group of like-minded people.