While many articles focus on clinical dentistry, it’s important not to forget the non-clinical aspects our roles involve. One of these is to maintain and update our knowledge as well as find ways to improve the skills we already possess. Professional Development Plans (PDP’s) are now a necessity and the best way to reach the goals you set and career progression you want to achieve.
When writing these, there are three things that you have to bear in mind. The first is to ensure that within your PDP, you’ve covered all the core topics required by the GDC in your five year cycle. The other two are split into things you enjoy and areas you could improve in.
Optimal care in all aspects
As a young dentist, most work in general practice; a jack of all trades, but master of none. At this stage, you’re finding your feet and need to be well rounded. It may be that you’re better doing some things over others. In this case, it’s wise to develop in areas that you could brush up in. This will allow you to provide optimal care to your patients in all aspects.
After a while, it might be that you have one particular sector of dentistry that you really want to zone in on. This is where your PDP starts getting exciting, often because it’s something that both piques your interest and that you excel in. Naturally, most people will want to continue to stick with this and to keep on pushing further.
Don’t simply follow the crowd and pick courses that everyone else has done just for the sake of doing it. Find your own path and create a PDP unique to you. Over time it will continue to provide job satisfaction throughout your career because you’ll be following the path you chose.