|Towards higher standards|
|Thursday, 09 September 2010|
Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, David Felix highlights the latest training and education developments within the Faculty and from across the profession
We live in a world of constant change. New structures evolve for regulation and governance of training. On page 52, Jonathan Cowpe, former Dean of the Faculty, provides a personal view on the future of the recently established Joint Committee for Postgraduate Training in Dentistry.
The MFDS examination continues to be a great success for the Faculty, attracting more candidates than originally envisaged. It is encouraging to learn that so many trainees wish to engage in professional development at this early stage in their careers – in effect they are the future of the Faculty. The success and robustness of this examination is a result of the hard work of Ann Shearer. The examination is organised on a bi-collegiate basis with our sister College in Glasgow. Ann has acted as overall lead for Part 2 since the inception of the examination and also led on development of the final part of the previous MFDS examination. Unfortunately, she has recently intimated her intention to stand down from this position. I am pleased to announce that Will McLaughlin has been appointed as her successor with Alan Gowans taking responsibility for local organisation of the examination. I am sure that the future of the examination will remain in safe hands.
The General Dental Council continues its work on developing new curricula for specialty training. This has been a huge undertaking with contributions from the Faculty representatives on the relevant Specialist Advisory Committees. The work should be complete by the end of the year. The curricula will be based on educational principles originally developed by PMETB and will promote robustness of dental specialty training in the UK.
Over the past few months we have attended a number of events to promote the activities of the Faculty. This has included the British Dental Association Conference in Liverpool as well as a number of undergraduate dental student events throughout the UK. Attendance at dental school events has provided much valuable information which has helped to inform the basis for establishing a new Student Network. This new initiative will provide a range of attractive benefits to undergraduate dental students.
The Faculty has a long established relationship with colleagues in Singapore and we were all delighted to learn of the conversion of the Chapter of Dental Surgeons of the Academy of Medicine into the College of Dental Surgeons. I am sure that this organisational change will enhance the professional development of dental specialties in Singapore. I shall be attending the new College's first Annual Scientific Meeting next month and have been invited to have discussions with the inaugural President, Associate Professor Yeo Jin Fei, on ways in which we can continue to collaborate to the mutual benefit of both institutions.
There is a detailed report of the results of the Membership Survey on page 50. One of the many positive aspects of the survey was the interest from Fellows and Members in contributing to the work of the Faculty as examiners. It is heartening that so many are willing to give up their valuable time to devote to this important and rewarding role. Details of examiner vacancies will appear on the College website on a regular basis.
At the Diploma Ceremony in July I was pleased to welcome Dr Penny Hodge and Mr Peter Douglas, who were awarded the Fellowship in Dental Surgery without examination. The Diploma Ceremony was also attended by dental trainees who had gained membership of the College by the 'traditional' route of passing a College examination. I extend a warm welcome to them all and hope that they will participate in College activities in the future.
Dr David H Felix, Dean, Faculty of Dental Surgery