GDP and Course Director Philip Dawson was inspired by the Diploma in Restorative Dentistry to pursue roles he would never have dreamed about.
I enrolled onto the FGDP(UK) Diploma in Restorative Dentistry in September 2007 as part of the Diploma’s 2nd cohort. Up until that point I had conducted my CPD without a great deal of structure or long-term thought. However, when the FGDP Restorative Diploma was launched it appealed to me as it covered those areas of restorative dentistry that were important to me in my General Practice clinical setting. Its mix of hands-on/face-to-face contact coupled with distance learning and a strong evidential basis was a very appealing feature to me as a busy full-time dentist, although I admit I was slightly intimidated by its relatively high educational standard! Having successfully completed it in December 2009, I then went on to complete the MSc at Leeds University the following year.
To say the Diploma/MSc has had a dramatic effect on me would be a major understatement – it has opened up many professional doors for me. I have been inspired by the Diploma award to pursue positions I would never have dreamed about previously – I am now a Specialty Dentist at Manchester Dental School; an examiner for the ORE; and a mentor for Health Education England. These are positions that, I believe, I have secured in no small part thanks to the Diploma/MSc.
My clinical practice is now on a completely different level to that which I had practised previously, supported by the huge knowledge base I gained whilst completing the DRD. I now have a significant part of my clinical practice receiving restorative referrals from my colleagues.
However, important as the above is, perhaps the greatest effect the Diploma/MSc has had is on me as a clinical dentist. It not only led me to question my provision of dentistry but forced me to try to continually improve the treatment I provide to my patients each and every day whether on the NHS or privately – it really has completely changed my mind-set and I feel made me a better dentist for this.
Completing the Diploma/MSc is probably one of the most challenging processes you could carry out as you will have so many more other areas of life to contend with at the same time. However, nothing worth achieving is awarded freely and the rewards for completing such a recognised Diploma can be immense – they certainly were for me.