Medstars in their Eyes | Mr John Watkinson | Consultant Head & Neck Surgeon in Birmingham

John Watkinson, head and neck surgeon Birmingham
John Watkinson

Medstars met with renowned head and neck surgeon, Mr John Watkinson, at The Priory Hospital in Birmingham.

Specialising in ENT, head and neck, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, John has performed approximately 5,000 head and neck treatments and 3,000 thyroidectomies.

John has outstanding patient feedback, and has even had a play written about him by one patient named Laura. Laura wanted to express her gratitude for the standard of care John provided whilst documenting her journey with thyroid cancer. Amongst many other words of praise, she said, “I really wish everyone going through cancer had a doctor like John”.

And if you weren’t impressed already, John has edited seminal ENT textbooks, and helped to establish the ‘Get-A-Head’ Charitable Trust which to date has raised over eight million pounds for patients with head and neck diseases.

In between surgery and editing, we’re happy to say John still made time for a chat with Medstars!

My friends and family describe me as…

“Approachable, conscientious and caring”.

I love my job because…

“It’s fulfilling to treat people with such serious conditions and see them leave my care having been cured”.

My greatest professional accomplishment is…

“My role as the Chief Editor of Stell and Maran’s Textbook of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, as well as Scott-Brown’s Otorhinolaryngology – both of which are seminal ENT textbooks used all over the world for trainee ENT surgeons, trainee head and neck surgeons, trainee audiologists and specialists alike. I’m also extremely proud of running the Birmingham Head and Neck course, as well as co-founding the ‘Get-A-Head’ Charitable Trust’ which has raised millions supporting patients with head and neck diseases, especially cancer.”

John received a ‘This is Your Life’ tribute with video messages from friends, patients and family at the Get-A-Head 25th Anniversary Ball.

Advancements in head and neck surgery include…

“Within the ear, I think cochlea implants for restoring hearing for children. Within the nose, the advent of synoscopic sinus surgery, so you can go through the nose without any scars and then open up the sinuses all the way up to the brain to remove tumours within the skull base. Within the throat, it’s now the use of trans-oral robotic surgery to remove tumours through the mouth from the oral phalanx and the larynx.”

If I wasn’t a head and neck surgeon, I would be a…

“If I still worked within medicine I probably would’ve tried orthopaedics and sports medicine. If I hadn’t become a doctor, I think I’d have tried my luck in athletics.”

My greatest personal accomplishment is… 

“Catching a 32lbs salmon on the fly in Russia and also holding the record for the number of salmon caught in one day on the Duke of Roxburghe estate in Scotland on The River Tweed!”

John Watkinson, head and neck surgeon, fishing.
John with his fish!

I am inspired by…

“First, my father who was Vice President of The National Union of Students in 1951. He later became President of the Students’ Union in Sheffield and debated with Rab Butler and Winston Churchill and argued that everyone, independent of income and class, should receive a grant to enable them to attend university. Thereafter followed the education grant which is still in place today. I am also inspired by my ex bosses, John Hibbert and Omar Shahin from Guy’s Hospital, and lastly my wife, who keeps me on the straight and narrow.”

The best advice I have been given is…

“Never trust your own mother in regards to medicine. In other words, never believe what anybody tells you. Always start again with a patient’s history. If someone refers a patient to me and says this lady has got a huge swelling in her gullet, I will check for myself. Oh, and only read something once and then give it away otherwise you’ll hoard it!”

Music that makes me happy includes…

“Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley and the Wailers and anything from Motown.”

I like Medstars because…

“It’s efficient, approachable, thorough and provides prompt delivery.”

You can book a consultation with Mr John Watkinson, who has expertise in thyroid & parathyroid surgery including cancer, all aspects of head & neck surgery, adult tonsillectomy, routine ear surgery to include grommet insertion and routine nasal surgery for nasal obstruction, here.

Consultant ENT/ Head & Neck & Thyroid Surgeon

First Visit £185