I’m currently working as a clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham and I’m Head of Admissions for Dentistry. I also do research as part of my role and I’m just finishing off my PHD. And finally, I also treat patients one day a week in the dental hospital, which keeps my clinical skills up to date.
There is so much going on in dentistry, and so much more that is developing - new research, new techniques and things that you can find to be interested in.
I think the key thing for a fulfilling career is keeping yourself motivated, keeping yourself interested, and striving to provide the best patient care that you can.
I try and encourage and prepare my students for a life in practice, which I know can be stressful and challenging, as I worked as a GDP for four years after I graduated.
So, I try to make sure they have got the tools which helps to prepare them for the big leap into real practice, and that they can manage those tricky situations.
Watching students grow in their abilities and their confidence is a really great thing to see. And when they graduate and are just starting out as a dentist, you can see how proud they are of what they’ve achieved. It’s very rewarding to feel you’ve helped them get there.
My research is looking at the effect of various titanium products on epithelial cells. It’s been a fantastic experience, I’ve been using lots of different scientific techniques that I had no idea about before I started the PhD. It’s given me a real appreciation of the depth of research that is going on in so many different areas of dentistry and that we have so much more to learn.
From my experience of dentistry, and seeing the quality of service provided, I really believe we have a fantastic group of dentists in this country, who take pride in their work. We may not always get recognition for it, but we always aim for the best.
Jo Batt, dentist and teacher