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Diary of a young hospital dentist: did I panic?

Blog Author Surina Bhola

Blog Date 25/10/2016

Diary Entry

After completion of foundation training, all young dentists face the two main options – do I live the rest of my life in practice, or do I utter the dreaded words – “dental core training”, and “hospital”.

When I applied for my training year in hospital, I would be lying if I didn’t panic when I saw my post as “Maxillofacial”, at a district general hospital.

But who am I? To be perfectly honest, I am an ordinary young dentist, currently training at Princess Alexandra Hospital, in Essex. I trained at Guys and St Thomas’ dental hospital, and like many others, I decided to opt out of general practice full-time after foundation training, and experience a year in hospital.

Why did I do it? Like many other colleagues, I wanted to enhance my skills, especially in oral surgery and maxillofacial areas, as these were where I felt I was weakest after qualifying.

Unlike many of my superiors, who were clinically – what I would call – “gifted”, I have always been one who has struggled in my practice, and I really wanted to improve my skills  over the next year. I did this in the best way I know – to throw myself into the deep end, and hope that I float!

Over the next few months, I hope to be able to inform young dentist about the kinds of things I’m getting up to in hospital, the challenges, the benefits, as well as the pressures that we all face.

In addition, through these updates, I hope to be honest and tell my fellow young dentist the areas in which I have struggled, and will continue to struggle with, in the aim that anyone deciding to take on a career or a training place in hospital, is fully aware of the things they need to know, and what resources they should have. I hope that you can learn from my mistakes.

In addition, hospital dentistry is something, which is, in my opinion, for young dentists such as myself, under-reported, but important, as many young dentists pursue a dental core training year after qualification.

I hope that over the coming months, I can provide useful updates, which can hopefully help my juniors – dentistry is a vast community, and we should all come together to help one another.

surina-blog.jpgSurina Bhola

Dental Core Trainee/SHO

BDA young dentists: your views

At the 2016 British Dental Conference and Exhibition, you told us that the voice of hospital dentists was not getting heard enough, so we are offering you a chance to discuss your views and share your experience.

We’d love to hear your views: please give feedback on our articles by tweeting @BDA, using the hashtag #youngdentists – if you’d like to write an article for our next e-newsletter, please email us.