Since graduation and completion of the compulsory foundation year in a dental practice, I then acquired a yearlong post at the Manchester Dental Hospital as a Dental Foundation Year 2 trainee (now named Dental Core Trainee Year 1).  In this position, I developed my skills in Paediatric Dentistry, Orthodontics, Oral Medicine and Oral Surgery.  This post confirmed my aspiration to enter a career in Oral Surgery.  Following this year, I undertook a Career Development Post (CDP, now named DCT 2) in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) at St George’s Hospital.  I improved my non-clinical skills such as coping with multiple tasks, prioritising patients and working in a busy trauma centre.  I also further enhanced my surgical skills through aspects such as suturing of facial wounds and incision and drainage of odontogenic infections Furthermore I advanced my medical knowledge in managing inpatients with multiple co-morbidities.  A second CDP post in OMFS at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup enabled me to focus on Oral Surgery specific skills such as dentoalveolar surgery, biopsies, apicectomies and treatment of patients under intravenous sedation and general anaesthesia.  My last position before taking on the ACF role was as a Specialty Dentist in Oral Surgery at Guy’s Hospital, again focusing on provision of dentoalveolar surgery and increasing my confidence and competence.   

Throughout this career path, I maintained my academic portfolio through audits, publications, posters, presentations and submissions for prizes.  This previous experience in terms of managing my time effectively has helped me balance clinical training with academic aspects in my ACF post.  In my specialist training, I have undertaken research courses which have been available through UCL and I have been involved in 2 academic research projects as well as a systematic review.  My current position affords me with the opportunity to develop my own surgical competencies, leadership and management skills, providing chairside teaching to junior colleagues as well as taking steps towards achieving higher levels of academic work.  Being London-based has also facilitated networking opportunities with other units as well as collaboration with UCL colleagues for research. 

In June 2018, I passed the M Oral Surgery examination and am currently in the process of completing any outstanding projects before completion of my training.  My future career plans would be to further develop attributes towards attaining a Consultant post.  However, as academic work gives me great satisfaction, this is something that I hope to continue with alongside my clinical role.