Dental Dean Update — a Year-End Reflection

Dental Dean Update — a Year-End Reflection

“For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And for those who only look to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

This statement was made by John F Kennedy in 1963, but rings true today. Our Dental Faculty continues to grow, develop and innovate and over 2023, time has certainly not stood still.

This is a rundown of some of the activities over 2023. As a Faculty, we have run 42 exam diets, involving over 1600 candidates across 21 countries. We have held 18 Advisory Boards & Specialist Advisory Boards, 4 meetings of Dental Council, 4 meetings of Dental Executive, 4 meetings of Dental Education and 4 meetings of the Dental Examinations Committee.

Dental Executive and several members of Dental Council have participated in numerous wider College meetings including College Council, International Committee, Awards Committee, Resources and Management Committee, Professional Standards Committee, Office Bearers, Heritage Committee, Hill Square Educational Trust, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Surgeons’ Quarter Board, Staff & Associate Specialist Liaison Committee and multiple meetings with our sister Colleges and wider stakeholder groups (you will be able to read more about these in the next Dental Digest!). Dental Executive now meets the UK General Dental Council quarterly to help with two-way communication with the UK regulator and these meetings have proved very useful.

Phil Taylor completed his term of office as Dean, we welcomed Lotfy Kelany and Toby Gillgrass onto Dental Council, with Joe Noar stepping down at the AGM in September. Our Faculty participated in 10 Diploma Ceremonies and if you joined the Faculty in 2023, I hope you are finding our communications and College membership worthwhile.

We celebrated the GDC confirming that we are the only UK Dental Faculty that has satisfied all eight of the Standards for Specialty Education and trained a series of Dental Accreditation reviewers and Assessors for our exams, along with a large number of new examiners and updated training for many existing examiners.

Dental Executive had very successful engagement trips to Dubai, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and Egypt. The Faculty awarded our first international accreditation to the Dental Alliance Programme in Egypt, we ran the UK & Ireland Dentsply Sirona Dental Clinical Skills Competition in March and the first International Dental Clinical Skills Competition in Malaysia, signed Memoranda of Understanding in Bahrain and Malaysia, with several others in progress. We initiated a pilot process for international dentists to undertake training in the UK through the RCSEd International Postgraduate Deanery and this is proceeding apace.

Our International Dental Ambassadors (IDAs) and UK/Ireland Dental Ambassadors participated in an excellent Dental Ambassadors Conference in the College in September and our Indian IDAs organised a fantastic FDS RCSEd conference in Bangalore in July. Dental Executive also participated in the Sri Lankan Dental Association congress in June, where the Faculty was honored to be given a whole session of the conference to promote our activities.

Whether you are a member of Dental Council, Dental Executive, one of our many examiner panels, advisory boards, committees, an accreditation reviewer, examination assessor, Dental Ambassador or a member of College staff, I would like to thank you for your hard work this year and look forward to working with you in 2024. If you have any ideas for the future, please get in touch.

As John F Kennedy recommends, looking forwards, we have an extremely busy programme and schedule of activities planned for 2024. Working with the wider College and our sister Faculty, the Faculty of Dental Trainers, we have exciting plans to grow the Faculty through our key examination, education and engagement activities in the UK and across the globe. Our Dental Diploma Examinations will go live, along with the new Membership in Implant Dentistry, and we will continue the excellent work to which many Faculty Members and Fellows have contributed this year. The College recognises the work everyone does and assuming the various decision making bodies within the College approve the new travel and subsistence policy, this will address all of the concerns that have been raised.  As a Faculty we are making a difference to our vision, to improve oral health throughout the globe.

I hope you and your family take time to relax and recharge over the festive season, and to remember in your thoughts and prayer those across the world who are caught in conflict. Finally, I would like to wish you the Scottish Gaelic traditional greeting to welcome in 2024, “Bliadhna Mhath Ùr dhuibh” – Happy New Year when 2024 begins!

- Written by Grant McIntyre, Dental Dean

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