As I reflect over the last year as a VDP and the first year of my dental career, I once again feel a little nostalgic. The things I have learned, the experience I have gained and the people I have come to know have made such an impression on me and my career (although not always in a positive manner) that no amount of years as an undergraduate student could have taught me.
The vocational training scheme has offered me so many opportunities over the last 12 months, ranging from clinical experience in both private practice and the HSE to hands-on experience in MOS, RA and GA procedures, which I would not have had the opportunity to experience had I become an associate.
CDE, also, was at a fore throughout the year as our attendance at numerous dental conferences and seminars organised by the IDA was mandatory, as were our seminars in Dublin on Mondays.
It is with immense dissatisfaction that I learned in May 2008 that the scheme had been axed in Cork by the HSE due to issues over funding, despite the efforts of Dr Frank Ormsby, head of the VT scheme. It is, I believe, an absolute disgrace that the HSE has not prioritised funding for such a worthwhile postgraduate training scheme and I can only hope they will review this decision in the future.
I would like to say thank you to so many people who in whatever way, be it little or large, have helped me in forming my career over the past year, especially to Dr Tom Nyhan to whom I wish a long and continued dental career.
As for my future dental career, who knows where the turbulent waters of dentistry will take me? One thing is for sure – whatever challenges I may face, it will take an awful lot to rock this boat.