Mr Rajiv Bhalla elected President of the British Rhinological society

Mr Rajiv Bhalla, consultant ENT and head & neck Surgeon at BMI The Alexandra Hospital, was elected to the prestigious position last month and will officially take the post next year.

The team at BMI The Alexandra is delighted to share the news that Mr Rajiv Bhalla is the new President Elect of the British Rhinological Society (BRS).

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Mr Bhalla is an experienced and highly respected consultant ENT (ear, nose and throat) and head & neck surgeon. He practices in the North West of England, teaching at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Salford Royal Foundation Trust Hospital as well as seeing private patients at BMI The Alexandra in Cheadle, Cheshire.

We spoke to Mr Bhalla about what it means to be BRS President and his plans for his tenure.

What does it mean to be President of the British Rhinological Society?

The British Rhinological Society (BRS) is a national ENT society that promotes education and research in all aspects of rhinology. (Rhinology is the study of the nose and sinuses and related areas, including facial plastics.)

The Society provides a platform for those with an interest in rhinology to help disseminate knowledge on the subject. There are currently more than 300 members from all round the world.

I was elected to be the next President in July 2020. The current President’s tenure will end at our next annual meeting, which will be hosted by my rhinology colleagues in Sheffield in May 2021. That is when I will formally take up the position.

Until then, I will be President-Elect and will take a position on the executive council. This allows me to gradually transition into the role over the next several months.

The President is elected by the BRS membership and, this year, we were blessed to have a particularly strong standing of four well-respected national figures.

How does it feel to be elected to this prestigious role?

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To have been given a vote of confidence by our membership from across the four nations of the UK, when there were particularly strong candidates standing this time around, gives me a great deal of professional satisfaction.

I have worked very hard over my career to perform to a very high level, both in my practice and as a teacher. As a surgeon, I have performed everything from rhinoplasty, to sinus surgery, to skull base surgery. As an educator, I have taught everyone from Consultants to medical students.

This appointment feels like my commitment to my subspecialty area of rhinology has been recognised by the toughest critics of all: my peers.

Previous Presidents of the BRS have been giants of our specialty and it gives me the greatest of pride to be walking in the footsteps of some of these individuals, who are my surgical heroes.

Tell us a bit more about your role at the BRS and what it will entail

My role with the BRS will include chairing annual and council meetings, helping to organise and to introduce the local host’s programme at the annual meeting, and liaising with the Presidents of our other subspecialty ENT societies including ENT UK.

Hopefully there will not be another global pandemic to deal with during my time as President but, given the anxiety around aerosol-generating procedures and loss of sense of smell as a cardinal symptom of COVID, the BRS has been at the forefront of providing guidance to ENT UK and other national bodies over this period. A very busy time for the incumbent President!

Are there any special interests or causes you will look to advance while in the role?

Taking on such an important national role, I think it is important to have an agenda whereby I can put my own stamp or shape the direction of the society for the period while I am President. This will include furthering rhinology education and also making the subspecialty area more attractive to our senior trainees.

Looking outwards for inspiration and development is also very important to me, while continuing to promote the best of UK rhinology talent.

Date: 10th August 2020