Building the dental profession of tomorrow
Carlos Clark, Head of Professional Development at Rodericks Dental, contemplates the importance of laying down solid foundations for a successful dental career and the role FD training has to play in this.
Innovation and education are often the cornerstones of progression and success. This is no truer than when it comes to dentistry, where new clinical techniques and technologies, coupled with research and on-going learning among professionals, continue to push boundaries and raise standards.
In order to maintain momentum across the industry, it’s essential that individuals receive the training and support they need to enter the profession with competence and confidence. Laying the initial foundations for a successful dental career takes time and passion, as well as close mentorship from those with extensive experience to share.
As such, Foundation Training is a crucial stage for all new dentists transitioning from university to a real dental practice environment. During this year, Foundation Dentists (FDs) are able to enhance and broaden their general dental skills, while also developing the necessary administrative and other skills required in an NHS practice.
Dedicated to FDs
Our unwavering commitment to FDs is one of the main characteristics that I believe sets Rodericks apart from other groups. We are ready and willing to go above and beyond in order to deliver all the training and support our FDs require to establish a strong platform from which to build a long and successful career in dentistry. We are eager to create the very best environments for learning and we utilise the first-hand experience of our senior team to make this a reality.
A passionate team
In fact, the passion for education within our management team is key to the group’s dedication to FD training. Not only do several senior members have clinical experience, but training has been part of what we do for many years. For example, I was an FD trainer for more than 15 years and a Training Programme Director (TPD) for the Berkshire scheme. Shalin Mehra (Chief Executive Officer) is currently the Associate Dean for HEE Thames Valley and Cathie Brady (Chief Clinical Officer) is TPD for the Bucks scheme. Until recently, Alpesh Khetia (Director), Fiona Patch (Head of Quality and Support) and Caitriona Walsh (TPD for overseas dentists at Rodericks) were also FD trainers. Collectively, we have more than 100 years of experience as trainers and heads of schemes. Together, our knowledge base of FD training is second-to-none and so we understand exactly what it takes to deliver effective training for generations of FDs.
Room for growth
Rodericks Dental currently has 19 FD training practices (which is around 25% of the group) and we will have 21 by the end of this year. This shows the quality of both our dentists and our practices. There are extremely stringent processes involved to become an FD Educational Supervisor and FD training practice. As such, not all practices or dentists will be able to meet these criteria. To have 19 practices providing FD training schemes demonstrates the quality of the dentists and practices within our group. It gives a good idea of just how committed we are to ensuring best practice across the board, with high quality facilities, materials and products. It is a fantastic external validation of how we work and we are very proud to have so many FD training practices.
We are therefore continuously looking to expand the number of FD training practices by encouraging our dentists to follow a career pathway into the field of training and mentorship and delivering the support they need to do so effectively. By doing so, we are able to build a strong and sustainable model that supports all our professionals in their career development.
Dedicated to all training
For this reason, training forms a key ethos within Rodericks, so retaining and increasing the number of FD training practices is a true reflection of our on-going commitment. Our clinically-led ethos really comes into its own in this respect, as we combine support, development, quality and clinical efficiency to ensure the right environments for excellent patient care.
Supporting the future of the profession
As an FD Advisor for the group, I do my best to support all our FDs, Educational Supervisors and practice teams. They can contact me directly with any questions or concerns that are outside the remit of their local management teams, which is another reason that Rodericks is unique. Ultimately, we’re all about building a strong profession for the future. This begins by helping the professionals of tomorrow establish the very best foundations for what we hope will be a long and rewarding career in dentistry.
For more information about joining Rodericks to become an FD trainer, please visit www.rodericksdentalcareers.co.uk, or contact Ashley Lillyman at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01604 970988.
Carlos qualified from Birmingham University in 1991. Having owned practices in London and Windsor, Carlos joined Rodericks in 2005 as a joint venture partner and subsequently merged his practices entirely with the group in 2008.
Carlos has had various roles within the group over the years. Having started as Business Development Director responsible for the opening of over 40 sites, he has also been in charge of facilities, operations and more recently was the group Clinical Director.
Carlos has been involved in postgraduate dental training since 1999, as an FD trainer and he also held the Training Programme Director role for the Berkshire scheme.
In May 2018 Carlos took over the role of Director of Professional Development for Rodericks looking after all the companies CPD and FD training programmes as well as combining this with working two days a week in clinic.