Career development for the newly qualified dentist
Charlie Steere, dentist at Marylebone House, discusses his career development and offers some advice for newly qualified dentists starting their own journeys.
I qualified from Leeds University in 2015 before completing my FD training year in Winchester. At this point, I had no idea what I wanted to do next, except I wasn’t keen on moving into a hospital environment. I therefore decided to work as a locum dentist for a year.
Diversity from the beginning
In this role I visited around 10 different Rodericks practices as and when I was needed. The brief contracts suited me and gave me an opportunity to experience life in different areas of the UK. As a fairly inexperienced clinician, it was challenging to adapt to the way each team worked in so many different practices.
However, the benefit was that I could identify what I liked most about practices and how I preferred to work. It gave me much more experience in different environments than I would otherwise have gained, which greatly aided my career development. I certainly learnt a lot very quickly and was able to progress my general dental skills.
Training for career development
During this time, I became interested in advancing my skills within cosmetic and restorative dentistry. After taking a full-time associate position at Marylebone House, I commenced training courses in both these areas. Still delivering general dentistry, I can now treat more complex cases and achieve better aesthetic outcomes for patients. With many dentists in the Marylebone area, I think it’s important to stand out where possible.
Give it a go
My advice to other newly qualified dentists regarding career development would be to give everything a go! It’s important to find out what you like doing so try lots of different things. I found working on a locum basis worked well for me. It would be ideal for others who haven’t decided where they want to work or live. There are also regional dentist positions available with groups like Rodericks, so this may also appeal. The most important thing is to always be learning.
Find a mentor
Finding a mentor is just as essential. During the FD training year, the practice will likely have several experienced dentists to go to for advice. Beyond this training, it is necessary to choose a practice that offers sufficient support. I am lucky enough to work with Yovaan Ilangakoon at Marylebone – he is highly experienced and I can ask him any clinical questions at any time.
I also think additional training courses are beneficial. Not only do they teach new techniques or technologies, but they also provide another opportunity for mentorship. You can often take a complicated case to the course, where instructors will help you understand and plan the most appropriate treatment.
About the author
Charlie qualified from Leeds in 2015. He went on to work as a general dentist in Marylebone and has since developed a special interest in restorative and cosmetic dentistry. He completed a year-long course in this area with Chris Orr.