UCL Ear Institute


Nishchay Mehta, Wellcome Trust PhD Student

I am a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow undertaking a PhD within the evidENT team and an ENT Specialist Registrar working within UCL Hospitals.

I gained a first class honours degree in Physiology from Kings College London in 2001 and then qualified in medicine from Guy’s, Kings and St. Thomas’ Medical School in 2005. My basic surgical training was in London, and I was subsequently appointed as an ENT registrar by the London Deanery. I was awarded the Royal College of Surgeons research fellowship in 2012 to investigate the pathophysiology of laryngopharyngeal reflux; this work was included in a large NIH clinical study. I have also conducted a multicentre observational study investigating the impact of tonsillectomy on generic health related quality of life (HRQoL), and initiated national and regional audits of ENT surgeons and patients undergoing tonsillectomy to treat recurrent tonsillitis. These studies have helped me identify lapses in the evidence surrounding tonsillectomy, one of ENTs most common operations.My PhD focuses on improving the evidence on which we base ENT care through study of large healthcare databases.

My thesis will be a systematic investigation into the drivers of national variation in the incidence of recurrent tonsillitis in the community and primary care and subsequently on the tonsillectomy rate in secondary care It is an epidemiological study developing novel techniques in big data analysis.

This quantitative analysis will be complemented with a qualitative process that will aim to develop a method of measuring the shared decision making process between patients and ENT surgeons during consultations for recurrent tonsillitis. The aim is to describe and analyse variation in this form of care, with the goal of developing tools to reduce unwarranted variation.