Half way there – Fiona and FD training

Fiona Mackay

It’s been nearly six months since we first spoke to Fiona Mackay at the beginning of her Foundation Dentist (FD) training at Wallingford House Dental Practice. We caught up with her to find out how she settled in and what she’s learned so far…

Specialist courses

“Since the start of my FD training, Rodericks has provided the opportunity to undertake a range of courses. I have attended those for minor oral surgery, composite restorative dentistry and another for periodontology and orthodontics. In some areas I had only touched upon the basics, so it was very useful to learn more comprehensive skills. Best of all, I have already had the opportunity to apply some of these practically.”

But it’s not just practical courses that have helped Fiona to grow, as she goes on to explain.

Overcoming challenges

“Last year, there were two areas that I found challenging – discussing money with patients and endodontics. Having spent more time in the practice, I am more comfortable discussing money in a natural and objective way. I am better able to discuss NHS and private options without sounding like I’m selling treatment. I’m using this time to continue honing my technique.”

As for endodontics, Fiona says she feels like she has already come a long way with developing her skills. “At the start of my FD training I had only completed one endodontic case – I’ve now performed 10. They’ve all gone really well and I feel much more confident in using the instruments. I can’t thank my Educational Supervisor, Carlos Clark, enough.”

The present and the future

Challenges aside, what aspect of FD training is Fiona enjoying the most? “Weirdly I’ve been quite enjoying extractions,” she says. “I also love welcoming patients back after treatment to see what a difference it’s made to their confidence – especially in nervous patients. I’ve invested a lot of time into building rapport with patients to help them feel comfortable with their treatment; I just hope this is something I will be able to continue doing as I progress to an associate.

“Looking ahead, I hope to improve my clinical photography skills as it’s something I haven’t explored much so far. I would also like more practical experience in bridgework and building up anterior composites freehand for enhanced aesthetic outcomes. Hopefully these are areas I will get to explore in my remaining months as an FD.”

Lastly, we asked Fiona if she would have done anything differently and if she has any advice for future FDs. She said:

“As an FD you are expected to present a case that you’ve worked on. In hindsight, I would have looked for a suitable case earlier to allow more time to complete all the treatment. I would also recommend keeping a detailed log of treatment types carried out and their dates. This makes filling out your portfolio much easier later down the line!”

There can be no doubt that being an FD is a learning curve. To find out how Fiona gets on with the rest of her training, watch this space!

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