|Three years of progress - Dr David Felix's final column as Dean of RCSEd's Dental Faculty|
|Thursday, 18 August 2011|
The Faculty remains vibrant with continued expansion of the number of Fellows and Members. Over the last three years we have witnessed a 35% increase in numbers of Fellows and Members in the UK. The Faculty also has a strong international role and the increase in Fellows and Members overseas is even more dramatic, at 45%. Our total membership now stands at over 2,500.
This increase in all categories of membership is clearly a reflection of the success of our robust examinations’ portfolio and importantly the widespread recognition that examination candidates in the College are treated fairly. In addition to a number of examination centres in the UK, the Faculty now examines in 16 countries worldwide.
Our MFDS examination is a remarkable success story. This examination has proved to be highly popular both in the UK and at a number of overseas centres. Interest in this examination has far exceeded our original expectations, necessitating additional diets of Part 2 to cope with the demand. Recently, the Faculty has announced its intention to extend the availability of Part 1 to a number of additional centres (Calcutta, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Colombo and Chicago), which extends the Faculty’s global footprint.
The overall success of this examination is largely due to the tremendous efforts of Dr Ann Shearer, who until recently was the College lead for this examination. In the development phase of the examination Ann ensured that robust educational principles were applied and feedback from candidates indicates that they have a positive experience.
We have established a conjoint examination in Orthodontics with our sister College in Australia. Successful candidates are awarded the M Orth RCSEd as well as the MRACDS (Orth). This has proved to be a successful conjoint initiative and it is hoped that this model will be developed for other dental specialties. In addition, it is anticipated that a reciprocal arrangement will operate from 2012 whereby candidates successful in the M Orth examination in Edinburgh could be awarded the MRACDS (Orth).
Over the last three years we held inaugural diets for two new examinations – the Fellowship in Dental Surgery by Assessment and the Diploma in Implant Dentistry. Next year we will hold the first diet of the Membership in Primary Dental Care.
Earlier this year we renamed the Membership in Oral Surgery as the Membership in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The title more accurately reflects the content of the syllabus, particularly in the overseas centres where the examination will be held. The first diet will be held in Cairo in November this year and will form part of an initiative we are developing with the Egyptian Armed Forces.
The Faculty does not adopt a complacent attitude over its examination portfolio and is undertaking a review to ensure that all examinations remain fit for purpose.
It has been a great honour and privilege to hold the position of Dean. The last three years have been both challenging and enjoyable. I wish to thank the team who have been a constant source of support to me during this period – Ann Shearer (Vice Dean), Liz Davenport and latterly Peter Durning (Dental Examinations Convener), Rob Chate and more recently Michael Manogue (Secretary) as well as all members of Dental Council and Linda Stuart, Faculty Administrator.
I am confident that the Faculty will continue to develop under the leadership of Richard Ibbetson and Rob Chate (Dean and Vice Dean respectively).
Dr David Felix, Dean, Faculty of Dental Surgery