The MAGDS exam for General Dental Practitioners: reflections of a successful candidate
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Last Month The Faculty of Dental Surgery held the inaugural diet of its flagship examination, the Membership in Advanced General Dental Surgery (MAGDS). The new examination was designed with input from GDPs to provide practitioners with a defined pathway and recognition for their higher level clinical knowledge, clinical judgement and problem solving skills of General Dental Surgery.
We spoke to Chris Leech, the first successful candidate of the exam, and gathered insights on the examination and what this means for his career.
What motivated you to do the MAGDS?
I have continued to work hard since graduation building a robust portfolio of CPD and I wanted to be able to sit an exam or be certified by a professional body such as the RCSEd to ensure that I had managed to obtain a standard that was deemed “advanced” in their eyes. This formal recognition gives me self-satisfaction in what I have achieved as well as hopefully giving confidence to my patients and colleagues in my ability.
How much work and preparation was involved and did you have to make any sacrifices?
The main sacrifice was taking 3 days away from practice.
Since it’s an exam in Advanced General Dental Practice it’s somewhat challenging to know what work you would need to put in especially for this exam. In my case I have been qualified for 10 years, therefore my work has been continuous over this period. Since the exam thoroughly covers all aspects of general practice, it’s important to be confident you have experience in all aspects of dentistry. I believe that ensuring a good knowledge of all current guidelines is certainly something essential for examination.
What support, if any, did the Faculty of Dental Surgery provide you with during the process?
The exam was 3 days long and the Faculty were extremely welcoming and friendly throughout the process. In my case, since I was the first to sit, I was fortunate enough to have the Vice Dean come and personally welcome me on Day 1 and this went a long way in settling my nerves. She explained the exam process clearly and the whole Faculty could not have been more welcoming to me.
What does it mean to you to be the very first successful MAGDS candidate?
I had no idea I was the first when I arrived at the College, it was quite unnerving actually, but again, the Vice Dean was brilliant at wishing me luck and calming me. It’s obviously something to be very proud of and I’m just pleased I didn’t let the College or myself down.
What effect do you anticipate it will have on your career?
My plan is to use this as a stepping stone. I have already signed up to sit my Implant Diploma later in the year and, who knows, maybe one day become a fellow of the RCS? I like having a formal qualification that states that I have been assessed for the “advanced” delivery of dental care and whether this is more reassuring to my own self belief or my patients only benefits us both.
Would you recommend the MAGDS to other dental practitioners? If so, why?
I would recommend it to other dental practitioners, dentistry is such a rewarding career and by continually learning and testing ourselves we grow, which benefits ourselves and our patients.
What advice would you give anyone considering MAGDS?
Very simple, sign yourself up. The whole process will be very rewarding in that it will give you a recognised qualification that is useful for your own career in terms of CV and positioning yourself at a standard and worst-case scenario it may show you areas of your knowledge that need a little more development which is still beneficial to know and action.
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