The RCSEd MFDS — Q&A with Dr Shan Gandhi
1 August 2023
The RCSEd Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS) is an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification which marks a level of achievement above and beyond the primary dental qualification.
We asked Dr Shan Gandhi, who is advisor to the RCSEd Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, to give us insights into the examination, its format and how best to apply and prepare for it.
Dr Gandhi is a Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry, as well as in the community clinic setting. His clinical practice focuses on the behavioural management of the child patient, as well as the dental management of challenging cases, often as part of an interdisciplinary team approach. As well as wearing a clinical hat, Dr Gandhi is an Educational Supervisor for Dental Core Trainees and Specialty Trainees, and is involved with the development of hospital and community staff within the Midlands region.
Why should people take the MFDS exam?
The MFDS is an investment in your career! Successfully attaining MFDS status provides candidates with external validation of their abilities. This provides a reliable benchmark of their broad-based knowledge, expertise and quality in clinical practice. Successful candidates can showcase their postgraduate qualification in their title, as well on their CV and portfolio. This may be encouraging as a quality marker for current and potential patients and prospective employers. They can also demonstrate that they have made an investment in lifelong learning and a commitment to their own professional development.
The investment in attaining this qualification can reap rewards – the qualification may provide an edge and be advantageous in supporting successful candidates, who may be in pursuit of career development (practice /salaried /community/ hospital/ university) and/or further postgraduate training, such as specialist training.
What is the MFDS Format?
The MFDS examination exam is a bi-collegiate examination, and is organised jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
Part 1 consists of a 180 single best answer written examination (three hour duration).
Part 2 is in Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) format, which tests communication skills and the knowledge and understanding (history taking/explanations/interpretation of investigations/managing patient concerns) required to manage a range of common conditions (two hour duration).
Who can sit the MFDS?
Those who have a primary dental qualification acceptable to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow can sit Part 1 of the examination, whilst Part 2 can be taken after passing Part 1 and having completed one year of postgraduate dentistry in the clinical setting.
Where can you sit the MFDS?
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh offers the examination at a variety of locations throughout the UK and internationally. These include: Edinburgh, London, Leeds and Sheffield, and Internationally, Cairo, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.
Do you have any top tips on how to prepare for the MFDS?
Firstly, become familiar with the MFDS Part 1 and Part 2 reading lists, as well as being well versed on the regulations, syllabus, and exam format. This will all make it seem familiar and less daunting on the day of examination.
The MFDS is both theoretical and clinical in nature. Whilst you are in your day-to-day clinical setting, treat each of your patients as though you were being examined.
Finally, instil good habits in your clinical setting, such that when the exam arises, it is a case of muscle-memory and replicating what you are doing so well in practice already!
Be part of our inclusive network of over 30,000 dental and surgical professionals worldwide. Invest in yourself by booking your MFDS examination with our College.
Learn more about the MFDS examination here.
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