The Faculty of Dental Surgery Welcomes New Trainee Representative on Dental Council

« View all News items
22 Feb 2024

The Faculty of Dental Surgery is pleased to announce the election of Don Jayawardena for a three-year term to represent Dental Trainees on our Dental Council and the RCSEd Trainees’ Committee.

A Specialty Trainee in Restorative Dentistry at the Royal London Hospital, Don has experience working in multiple specialties such as Oral Surgery, OMFS, Restorative Dentistry and Special Care Dentistry across the country including in Cardiff, Bristol and Manchester. He also spent a year as a Leadership Fellow in the Midlands/East of England, having been involved in projects such as publishing national guidance on denture loss in hospitals and care homes, as well as delivering educational programs for HEE. Don has published multiple papers in peer reviewed journals most recently a summary of assessing restorability, strategic importance and complexity of teeth, as well as on the use of the latest periodontal classification.

We spoke with Don and learned more about his new role and future career goals.

1. What motivated you to participate in the elections for this role?

"The college has a huge impact on the lives of trainees, being integral in providing direction for postgraduate teaching and, of course, in the examination of postgraduates. It provides leadership in key decisions and can promote healthy and sustainable practices. A lot of us in dentistry choose to sit our membership exams early on in our careers, so the college impacts our training almost straight out of dental school. It’s important that the dental council has representation from someone who can advocate on behalf of all of us who are in training. I applied for this role so that I could be involved with and understand the decisions that are being made at the council, and hopefully to provide some input that may reduce the burden on trainees. I have also approached this having some experience working as a Leadership Fellow in (what was formerly) Health Education England, I’m hoping some of what I’ve previously learnt can be applicable here and allow me to be a positive influence in this role. I was also really keen to be involved in and see things from the perspective of the college, so that I can really understand all the key organisations involved in dental education."

2. What will your new role mean for your dental career?

"For my career, well as a start I imagine I will be busier! I want to take on projects and be actively involved as the trainee representative in the council, certainly I am already learning about projects I could be involved in such as in sustainability or in education. Of course, I know this is a big responsibility and I want to do this to the best of my ability. I’m also looking forward to meeting and working with well-known members of the profession, I’m hoping some of their knowledge rubs off me in the process. I think being a member of the dental council automatically puts more spotlight on you, so I want to be accessible and contactable for other trainees who might want me to raise points at the council. I feel lucky that I was so well supported by my training unit (The Royal London) to apply for this role, and for giving me the time to attend college meetings!"

3. What are your career goals and how can the College support you in your dental career?

"I really enjoy the different facets of my training, not just clinical, but the leadership and management aspects as well. I’ve already been involved in developing these other skills in previous roles, but I am hoping to develop further and get an understanding of the college as a part of this role. My career goals as a whole, I am doing my specialty training in Restorative Dentistry, I wish to develop my skills and be a good clinician in the first instance! I can only see a positive impact from working in the college, being involved with projects and networking with other trainees and consultants. I am hoping to learn as much as I can from everyone that I interact with as part of this role. I would hope that I have a positive impact as the trainee representative, then perhaps I can continue to be involved with the college following the end of my term as well."

Our elected Trainee Member of Dental Council has the exciting opportunity to represent the views of trainees across all aspects of the Faculty’s activities including training, education and assessment, as well as help shape the Faculty’s strategic direction. Don will be attending meetings of the Dental Council and will represent the Faculty on the RCSEd Trainee’s Committee.

More information about our Dental Council executive and members can be found on this page

back to top of page