At the end of 2021 a number of RSM members in the early stages of their careers competed for the prestigious Ellison-Cliffe Travelling Fellowship. Here we meet the successful candidates and find out more about their plans for undertaking specialist training during their time overseas.
Mr Mark Wilkie has recently competed his specialist registrar training in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, and is currently the training interface group fellow in advanced head and neck surgical oncology at Manchester Royal Infirmary & The Christie Hospitals.
With the support of his Ellison-Cliffe Travelling Fellowship he will be moving to Australia later this year where he has been appointed fellow in advanced head and neck and robotic surgery at The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).
The head and neck unit at The RAH is at the vanguard of transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and was one of the first units in the world to establish a TORS programme which is now internationally recognised. It is one of the leading units globally in terms of experience, caseload, and clinical research in this area.
TORS utilises angled endoscopes and instruments for improved visualisation and exposure, while minimising collateral damage, compared with traditional techniques. The technology is now at the heart of contemporary head and neck oncology practice where long-term functional outcomes must be closely considered alongside oncological efficacy to deliver optimal outcomes for patients going forward.
Mark says: “I'm truly honoured to be awarded the RSM Ellison-Cliffe Travelling Fellowship. These generous funds will allow me to travel to Adelaide to learn the techniques and nuances of TORS from pioneers in the field. I’m looking forward to bringing this experience back to the UK at a time when TORS is undergoing international clinical trials that will likely revolutionise the way in which we treat head and neck malignancies over the next decade.”