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How to maximise your study leave during dental foundation training

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How to maximise your study leave during dental foundation training

In this article Michelle Middleton demonstrates some practical tips on how to maximise your study leave whilst still in dental foundation training to boost your dental career while you have extra time available.

Book the essential courses: IRMER update, medical emergencies, infection control

If they are due to expire in your CPD cycle before you go back in to general dental practice or soon afterwards, why not get them out of the way while it won't cost you the time off work?

Verifiable courses

It sounds obvious, but with the GDC tightening the belt on 'non-verifiable' CPD, ensures that your course is verifiable and you get the certificate!

The courses which require the most time off

Again, because the only fees you'll be paying (hopefully) are the ones for whichever course you decide to book on, as long as it does not exceed thirty days (individual hospital policies regarding study leave may vary) then the time off work will cost you nothing. If you were to do the same course in general dental practice how much potential income would be lost?

Think of timing

When are you going to reap the benefits of your postgraduate training? Are there alternative ways to gain experience? Take me, for example. I have just started work as a maxillofacial SHO in a hospital but in my dental foundation year the six-Month Smile tickled my fancy. It probably would not be the best time to pursue the course right now as I will not be able to perform this treatment on patients coming into a hospital. It would be better to wait until the end of my SHO post if I still wanted to book on the course (and would probably give me time to save up, too!).

If you're considering a sedation course which provides the theory but 'strongly recommends additional experience' then could you obtain this experience in a hospital, or in practice? Before you commit to a course, speak to your supervisors for guidance.

Practical training

Check the course details as to how much practical experience you will acquire. This is relevant for all aspects of dentistry: from Botox to endodontic courses you want as much practical experience as possible and not hours of lectures. It will give you the hands-on skills you will need to use on your patients and with that comes confidence. There are an increasing number of courses that cover e-learning and examinations remotely prior to the practical day to reduce time taken off work and to be considerate to the flexibility of study requirements of working dentists.

MJDF (parts 1 and 2)

In a hospital environment you will have had exposure to clinical scenarios that you may not have experienced in general dental practice which would aid revision for exams such as MJDF / MFDS (e.g. fractured mandible). With regards to experience, you can complete MJDF / MFDS one year post qualification but check with the latest guidelines as to when you can use the additional letters after your B.D.S. as with some colleges it may be only after two years. This may affect the exam date you wish to choose.

Michelle Middleton

Michelle Middleton qualified from Birmingham Dental School in July 2012 with Honours and Distinction in Clinical Dentistry.

She is currently employed as an Oral and Maxillofacial SHO in the Countess of Chester Hospital, Chester.


 

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