Professor Iain Hutchison is an Oral & Facial Surgeon at St. Bartholomew’s, The Royal London and University College London Hospitals pursuing the highest standards of ablative and reconstructive Head & Neck Cancer Surgery.
His patients, and his own experience as a patient himself, have helped him understand the fears and expectations of patients. He treasures his relationship with his patients, who provide him with a constant source of inspiration.
Apart from the satisfaction gained from the challenges of treating highly complex cases, Iain has several burning ambitions. Firstly he wants to demystify medicine by improving public knowledge.
Iain founded and funded the Saving Faces Art project charting the physical and emotional journey of his patients undergoing facial surgery. It was instigated as a public information project to educate the general public about what is (and is not) possible with modern facial surgery and to show the public that people with facial disfigurement could be powerful and lead normal, fulfilled lives. It has been seen by over two million gallery visitors worldwide and has proved cathartic for the patients involved. He has continued the art theme by bringing school pupils into hospitals to talk to patients and produce paintings, sculptures, plays and poetry from these experiences.
He has organised 4 free public events at London’s prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall, attended by almost 1,000 people on each occasion, and London’s Science Museum on topics such as stem cell research, face transplantation and tissue engineering.
He has persuaded his surgical colleagues to participate in national schools information campaigns on facial injury and mouth cancer to discourage binge drinking and smoking respectively.
His 1994 British Medical Journal editorial on mouth cancer led to the first national mouth cancer awareness campaign in 1995, which has now been replicated worldwide.
He has led 2 huge nationwide facial injury surveys studying every single facially injured patient presenting to every casualty department in the UK over one week. These have informed the strategies of facial injury prevention campaigns.
He has set up an “Expert Patient” support group who provide accurate information and support for people undergoing treatment.
His work with patients has been recognised by his appointment as Vice President of the Patients’ Association.
Iain Hutchison’s second mission is to improve the evidence base for current facial surgery practice by conducting prospective randomised clinical trials.
He founded and now runs (pro bono) The Facial Surgery Research Foundation – Saving Faces (www.savingfaces.co.uk) which leads national multi-centre collaborative clinical trials to improve the evidence base for oral and facial disease treatment and maxillofacial surgery practice.
He is Principal Investigator in 2 national schools sociological prospective randomised studies (PRTs) and in the first national PRT on mouth cancer surgery examining the role of elective neck dissection.
He funds and co-supervises two psychology PhD students to study treatment possibilities to improve emotional and functional outcomes
He funds and co-supervises one stem cell cancer research PhD to examine cancer treatments other than surgery.
He has developed a surface scanning microscope to improve the surveillance of oral premalignancy.
His third mission is to inspire and train the doctors of the future and to remind them of the joy of helping others despite the frequent managerial and administrative hurdles that must be met.
Iain gives frequent careers talks in schools in deprived areas.
He organises undergraduate and postgraduate lecture programmes on surgery, research methodology, applied anatomy and ethics.
He funds and trains research assistants and surgeons in clinical research and has set up a tissue bank for future basic science studies.
He is setting up a telemedicine rapid diagnostic service for the primary care sector and lectures pharmacists on mouth disorders so that they don’t overlook serious disease like cancer.
Finally, he is encouraging and challenging surgeons to become more open-minded about surgical treatment protocols by introducing the concept of clinical research into their day-to-day practice. The public expect, and their surgeons deliver, confidence, decisiveness and courage. Unfortunately these admirable qualities can often militate against open-mindedness and humility resulting in surgeons dismissing other surgeons’ methods. Although surgical techniques are always fairly successful there may be percentage differences in success rates for different methods and treatment protocols. It is vital that we test these different treatment methods against each other in a proper unbiased scientific manner to determine which treatment is best for the good of all future patients.
In his spare time he has written 43 papers, 7 chapters and delivered 90 invited lectures in addition to 65 conference presentations. He lives with his wife and 3 children.
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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Iain Hutchison for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Iain Hutchison speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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