Putting it all into perspectivePromotional Features
Posted by: manpreet.boora 6th October 2017
Shane Khaki qualified from King’s College London Dental School in July 2015 and completed his foundation year as part of the Buckinghamshire Deanery. Shane then joined Rodericks Dental as a regional dentist and covered several areas including Bedford, Milton Keynes and Oxford.
When the time came to move on from DFT, several options were presented, both corporate and independent. Initially, I was reluctant to join a corporate as I was unsure of the support I would receive and whether the hierarchy would appreciate the everyday challenges that a dentist faces. However, as the Rodericks managing body mainly consists of dentists, I was more open to the prospect of working with them. Since Joining Rodericks in September 2016, I have discovered that support is always available and the directors of the company are fully aware of the challenges presented to a dental team.
My first role with Rodericks was as a regional dentist, covering practices in Bedford, Milton Keynes and Oxford. Due to my lack of experience, I felt this was a great opportunity to for me to see how different practices were managed and, more importantly, to experience different patient groups. Several practices I worked at were in deprived areas with high needs patients, while others in more affluent areas saw patients with more stable oral health. Having to adapt to the different situations helped me progress rapidly as a dentist. Furthermore, I worked with several dental nurses who allowed me to enhance my leadership and team-working abilities. Regarding UDA targets, there was little pressure to achieve a certain number, which I felt allowed me to focus on developing my technical and communication skills.
Five months later, I was given the opportunity to become an associate. I felt that I had learnt much in the regional role and this seemed a good time to move forward. Working as an associate presents benefits such as continuity and stability – as a regional I rarely completed long-term treatment plans or saw patients for regular recalls, but the new role enables me to do so. The associate role has also exposed me to the management side of dentistry, particularly maintaining UDA targets.
The support network within the group has been very helpful throughout my progression. I have had regular contact with the area manager and even the directors, who were happy to discuss any issues. I attended several free CPD events that covered many topics including management, finance and technical skills and I have been aware of great discounts available on sought-after courses such as those by Ashley Latter and for GC composite. Rodericks were also very helpful and prompt in finding me an associate position when I enquired about one.
Regarding the technical aspects of dentistry, Rodericks looks to cater to the individual needs of the dentist. For example, a specific material that may not be used commonly can be requested, which allows the dentist to work on his/her own unique development. Further still, the corporate structure of Rodericks affords many career opportunities leading to managerial roles, which is very appealing for those interested in the non-clinical aspects of dentistry.
I believe it is extremely important to plan ahead and set targets for a successful career in dentistry. This gives one the motivation to continue improving. As a dentist, one has to decide on several aspects such as specialisation, practice ownership, research or NHS vs private practice. This can be particularly difficult at the early stages of one’s career, due to the lack of exposure to the industry. With time and experience, aims and targets become clearer and a more accurate picture of the future can be created. I would recommend a personal development plan (PDP), which is used to reflect on aims, improvements, setbacks and one’s potential future. Regularly updating the PDP allows one to keep track of their career progression and is an efficient way to reach ones goals. Having access to a good support network is vital. This may include experienced colleagues who can be approached for advice and CPD courses to advance skills and attributes.
I would say that career progression is a very personal area and each individual should choose a path that suits their lifestyle and personality. It is also important to use time effectively and strike a good work-life balance. Due to the progressive nature of dentistry, dentists are constantly required to update their knowledge in order to maintain acceptable levels of care. This can be quite daunting at times and hence I believe it beneficial to have a hobby or past-time that can take your mind of work! While very important, there is a lot more to life than a career, so I strive to enhance my professional life via a stress-free environment, which helps keep everything in perspective.
For more information about careers with Rodericks, please visit www.rodericksdental.co.uk/careers, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01604 602491 (option 1) and ask for Christina Regan in our Dental Recruitment Team.
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