A Family-run Feel
Stephanie Kirby talks about her experience with Rodericks Dental
Strangely enough for a child, I always wanted to become an orthodontist when I was younger. I’d had braces fitted as a child and I remember being very self-conscious of my teeth before treatment. Once the braces were removed 2 years later, I remember feeling so happy with my new smile – it made a real difference to how I felt about myself. I wanted to be able to help others make the same transition.
As I got older I looked into how I could become an orthodontist and, of course, discovered the need to train in general dentistry. That’s exactly what I did and I qualified as a dentist about 4 years ago.
However, I no longer have any ambition to move into orthodontics! I’m very happy staying in general practice, as I get to do a bit of everything and see a wide variety of patients. I think it’s important for newly qualified dentists to establish a foundation of knowledge in general dentistry before considering a specialisation.I have achieved this by focusing on NHS dental services. Although I am slowly increasing the private work I offer as I gain in confidence and ability.
Challenging Aspects of my Job
I think the most challenging aspect of the job is managing patient expectations, which can be very high. Time management can also be difficult – not everything always goes according to plan, so when it doesn’t it can put you behind for the day quite easily. Great teamwork can help to avoid this – my practice team always help each other out and it’s nice that we gel together so well!
Working with Rodericks
In my experience, Rodericks has been a good company to work for – there is lots of support and training courses available for the clinical team. We have clinical advisors to go to for clinical guidance and I’m very comfortable contacting Head Office or a member of senior management with a query when I need to. It’s nice that if you have concerns about not meeting targets, for example, they will do what they can to help you get back on track, rather than simply telling you to work faster.
They visit the practice in person and are keen to listen to anything we think needs to be improved and then work with us to fix problems and make our everyday life easier. I also know they are currently looking at our referral processes with the view of developing the skills of our dentists and improving the patient experience when advanced treatments are required.
Despite being a fairly large business, Rodericks seems to maintain a family-run feel to it. It is run by dentists, for dentists – you know they are not just business people sitting in a room watching numbers. While I don’t yet know whether I’ll specialise or remain in general dentistry, I’m confident that Rodericks offers the support and opportunities I would need to progress in my career when I’m ready.
For newly qualified dentists out there, my advice would be to remain realistic about what you can achieve – you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew and end up trying to cram 10-minute jobs into 5 minutes. That’s too much pressure and it could lead to you falling out of love with dentistry, early on. I would also recommend a role as a regional dentist for Rodericks if it’s available to you – you have to travel a fair amount but it’s useful to work in different places and with different professionals and patients in order to establish what you do and don’t like.
Stephanie Kirby, Dentist at Tamworth House Dental Practice