Filling the education gap

PrintYoung Dentist spoke to Martyn Amsel about a new programme that is set to help improve young dentists’ confidence in practice.

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Left to right: Martyn Amsel, Katharine Cordner and Nazia Alyas

Martyn Amsel lifts the lid on his new project – the Young Dentist Academy. The programme is designed to help young dentists build their confidence in general practice. With Martyn’s expertise along with his business partners, Katharine Cordner and Nazia Alyas, the programme will kick start in January 2015. Read on to find out more about this new exciting venture that is tailored to help young dentists feel ready for the working world.

Why did you start up the Academy?
I’d been doing teaching for about 25 years and from the conversations I’ve had with students I’ve realised that there is less and less practical training from university through to the foundation course.
I’ve spoken to some who have said they are struggling in practice and lacking in confidence and want something in-between their foundation training and advance courses, which are quite expensive and often not relevant..
I realised that there is a gap in the market for somebody to give their 40 years’ worth of experience of general practice dentistry to enhance another’s skill set, give them some confidence and mentor them for a year.

What’s the structure of the programme?
We have a tailored programme based on the feedback from young dentists, as well as from our insight and experience, and we shall continue to tailor it to each individual group.
We will cover all aspects of general practice clinical work, both NHS and private, as well as business skills and dealing with patients.
The course will have a mix of lectures, discussions of cases the delegates bring along and always some hands-on workshops.
We take up to 15 people per cohort. It will be a programme of 14 days run over 12 months.
The majority of the courses will be run by the three of us and then we will get external speakers for certain specialities.

What do you look for in outside speakers?
We have selected speakers who are in tune with young dentists and understand the challenges of general dental practice. We have also chosen inspirational and leading speakers in their fields.

What will attendees gain long-term?
Continuing professional development (CPD) for six hours a day for 14 days. We have an assessment that will enable them to get a certificate at the end. Richard Cure, head of dentistry at Warwick’s dental school, is developing the assessment. We are really excited to have him on board because he is leading some fantastic work for post graduate studies. The certificate is not accredited by the GDC, but delegates will have it to show to a future employer. It will showcase their newly developed skills and increase their employability in this increasingly competitive job market. In a few years time, we hope to have it accredited towards validation.

Are you planning on continuing to mentor the students after the course is over?
Yes, of course we would continue to mentor them. As part of our website we have an exclusive online forum for the delegates to discuss their queries and cases, this would continue to be part of the mentoring process.

What’s your long-term plan?
Our long-term plan is to run the course in the north, the south and in the Midlands to make it accessible nationally. In the future, I would love to link it up to a university and it is next on my list to discuss the course with the GDC.
I’m good at teaching, I know I get good results when I teach and I enjoy it. I know there is a need for this course, and my aim in the next five years is to do more teaching and help develop young dentists’ careers.


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