The origins of The Midland Institute of Otology date back to 11th February 1947

It was founded by William Stirk Adams who had the vision to establish an Otological Institute in association with the University of Birmingham “for teaching and research in the subjects of our specialty.” At inception it had three main objectives, to:

  • Support the study and research in otology, rhinology and laryngology
  • Promote postgraduate teaching in these subjects, both clinical and academic
  • Establish a Diploma in Otological Nursing

The first General Meeting was held on 12th December 1947 where the Constitution was adopted and the first Officers elected, including W H Lomas, House Governor at The Ear and Throat Hospital as Honorary Treasurer. Secretarial assistance was provided until 1969 by Miss Margery Barclay, secretary to Mr Stirk Adams, and since then by Mrs Valerie Frankland, formerly secretary to Mr G A Dalton.

In 1951, in concert with Stirk Adams’ initial vision, the Institute established a Diploma examination for State Registered Nurses.

This was followed by the creation of the Midland Nursing Association of Otology in 1952 and a further certificate for nurses in 1961. However, despite many attempts over the years the Institute has been unable to obtain official recognition by the nursing authorities for the Diploma and Certificate and the nursing association was disbanded in 2012.

In 1967 the Institute was also instrumental in establishing a Training Course for Audiology Technicians, this being later taken over by appropriate authorities as training in the subject developed.

In its early years the MIO had limited funds and focused on providing clinical meetings, nurse training and lectures. However, in 1978 a generous bequest from Mr. Stirk Adams’ Will allowed the Institute to expand its scope considerably.

It has supported numerous research projects for consultants and trainees, provided expenses for members chairing sessions or presenting papers at meetings abroad, and established a Chair in Otolaryngology at the University of Nottingham. In addition, since 1984 a Bursary has been awarded to enable a Midlands trainee to attend the Advanced Otology Course in Nijmegen.

In 1984 and 1985 the Institute joined with the TWJ Foundation to fund Fellowships open to national competition to enable a senior trainee to work in Toronto; and Fellowships have been awarded to enable trainees from Eastern Europe to attend the British Academic Conferences in Glasgow and Dublin.

For 10 years the Institute also sponsored the Toynbee Memorial Lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine and Royal College of Surgeons.

Since 1947 the Institute has held Clinical Meetings twice yearly which include lectures by national and international experts. The Winter Meeting is hosted by one of the departments in the Birmingham area and the Spring Meeting usually by a department elsewhere in the Midlands – but sometimes as far afield as The Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

Full Membership of the Institute is now offered to all ENT Consultants within the wider Midlands region and to interested ex-trainees from the region who become Consultants elsewhere. All trainees within the region become non-subscribing Associate Members.