Today marks the launch of the sixth running of the annual campaign, which gives readers of Dentistry magazine and registered users of Dentistry.co.uk the chance to vote for the 10 people they feel are the most influential in the UK dental profession right now.
You may wish to vote for valued colleagues, respected tutors, prominent association leaders, leading political figures, astute media analysts or whoever, it’s entirely up to you.
Once all the votes are in, we count them up and then reveal the 50 people who received the most nominations.
Last year, you voted esteemed academic Edward Lynch, currently head of dentistry at the University of Warwick, as your number one. But who will it be this year?
As well as perennial high-placers such as Kevin Lewis, Eddie Crouch, Barry Cockcroft, Raj Rattan and Linda Greenwall, there are a number of new faces that have made an impact on the profession in the last 12 months.
It has been a big year in politics with the Lib-Con coalition taking power in Downing Street, and therefore a new ministerial team put in place at the Department of Health.
Andrew Lansley is now secretary of state for health, while Earl Howe, parliamentary under secretary of state for quality, has responsibility for dentistry – a position that has seen his profile rocket within the sector as he has appeared in the news pages of the dental press on several occasions over the last few months.
Anne Milton, parliamentary under secretary of state for public health, is dealing with the high-profile issue of fluoridation, while another new member of the department, Simon Burns, is also often quoted in dental-related news stories. Some people may feel of course that ultimate responsibility for government decisions relating to dentistry will eventually fall into the hands of prime minister David Cameron.
The last year has seen the controversial role of the Care Quality Commission come under great scrutiny, and the commission’s chief executive Cynthia Bower looks set to be in the thick of it over the next few months. Over at the General Dental Council, chair Alison Lockyer has recently been joined by new chief executive and registrar Evlynne Gilvarry.
Amarjit Gill has taken over as president of the British Dental Association while Nik Sisodia has replaced James Goolnik as president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Sir Paul Beresford was elected as the new chair of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for dentistry over the summer, replacing Charlotte Atkins who lost her seat in the general election, while Conservative Peer Lord Colwyn was re-elected as vice-chair.
Away from the political spectrum and into the heart of the dental practice, it has been a breakthrough year for many big award winners.
At the 2010 Dentistry Awards in December, Matthew Perkins of Modus Advanced Dental Clinic in Coventry was named Best Young Dentist in the Midlands and the UK, while Visage Lifestyle Clinic in Glasgow, fronted by clinical director Attiq Rahman, won Best Team and Best Practice for Scotland, as well as the Best Practice UK award. B
elmore Dental Studio in Northern Ireland, established by Niall McEnhill, won the Best Team UK award.
At the 2010 Private Dentistry Awards in November ,Joanna Koussertari was named the Outstanding Individual of the Year, while the title of Private Dentist of the Year went to Shameek Popat.
Last year’s highest new entry in the Top 50 was James Goolnik (number four), while other significant new entrants were Anoop Maini (6), Tif Qureshi (13), James Russell (15), Laura Horton (20) and Jimmy Steele (23). The biggest mover was Paul Tipton, who rose 18 places from number 25 to 7.
As in previous years, we have provided a list of suggested names you may want to consider (see below) when deciding who to vote for. This is only to help you conjure up some ideas – you are free to vote for people not mentioned on the list.
This poll is open to all readers of Dentistry magazine and users of Dentistry.co.uk. You can vote online at www.dentistry.co.uk/top50. The deadline for all votes is Monday 28 February 2011. No votes received after this date will be counted.
Jennifer de St Georges