In response to research identifying a skills gap between general dental care and specialist treatment, the RCSEd’s Faculty of Dental Surgery is launching a new exam.
With the first diet planned to run early in 2018, the RCSEd’s dental faculty believes the membership examination in advanced general dental surgery will support attainment at an advanced level and benchmark higher-level skills across the ‘generalism’ of general dental surgery.
The faculty’s research found that the unique strength of the general dental surgeon was the ability to provide multidisciplinary holistic dental healthcare for their patients. However, there was not an examination that recognised and rewarded higher level skills across the full range of general dental practice disciplines.
The new membership examination in advanced general dental surgery provides a framework for general dental surgeons to develop their skills and to provide evidence of attainment at an advanced level.
This aligns well with the proposed changes in the provision of general dental services, with commissioning of higher level (tier 2 in England) skills and the introduction of local and managed clinical networks across the UK.
Professor Bill Saunders, dean of the dental faculty, said: ‘Under the leadership of Professor Helen Craddock, our advisory board in primary dental care was tasked with producing a qualification for primary dental care that was fit for modern general dental practice.
‘Professor Craddock held a number of focus groups around the country, taking soundings from the profession about what general practitioners want to allow them to demonstrate high-level skills, but within the context of general dental practice. This process makes us very confident that the qualification will be attractive to general dental practitioners. The end-product is an innovative examination that will allow general dental practitioners to exhibit high quality clinical skills and judgement.’
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