A family-feel environment – Dr Stephanie Kirby

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  Posted by: Dental Design      4th March 2019

Dr Stephanie Kirby discusses what she thinks makes a good working environment for young associates while ensuring the delivery of high quality patient care.

Early beginnings

Strangely enough for a child, I always wanted to become an orthodontist when I was younger. I’d had braces fitted as a child and I remember being very self-conscious of my teeth before treatment. Once the braces were removed 2 years later, I remember feeling so happy with my new smile – it made a real difference to how I felt about myself. I wanted to be able to help others make the same transition.

As I got older I looked into how I could become an orthodontist and, of course, discovered the need to train in general dentistry. That’s exactly what I did and I qualified as a dentist about four years ago.

However, I no longer have any ambition to move into orthodontics! I’m very happy staying in general practice, as I get to do a bit of everything and see a wide variety of patients. I think it’s important for newly qualified dentists to establish a foundation of knowledge in general dentistry before considering a specialisation. I have achieved this by focusing on NHS dental services. Although I am slowly increasing the private work I offer as I gain in confidence and ability.

Overcoming challenges

I think the most challenging aspect of the job as a newly qualified dentist is managing patient expectations, which can be very high. Time management can also be difficult – not everything always goes according to plan, so when it doesn’t it can put you behind for the day quite easily. Great teamwork can help to avoid this – my practice team always help each other out and it’s nice that we gel together so well!

Support and training

I believe it’s important that the clinical team have access to lots of support and training courses. For example, I know that I have clinical advisors to go to for clinical guidance and I’m very comfortable contacting a member of senior management with a query when I need to. It’s nice that if you have concerns about not meeting targets, for example, they will do what they can to help you get back on track, rather than simply telling you to work faster.

Management listen

It can make a huge amount of difference with the management team really listens to what you think needs to be improved. A good manager (practice, area or regional) will then work with you to fix any problems and make your everyday life easier.

A family-feel

In my experience, Rodericks Dental has been a good company to work for. Despite being a fairly large business, it really seems to maintain a family-run feel to it. It is run by dentists, for dentists – you know they are not just business people sitting in a room watching numbers. While I don’t yet know whether I’ll specialise or remain in general dentistry, I’m confident that Rodericks will offer the support and opportunities I would need to progress in my career when I’m ready. This is another quality that makes for an effective working environment.

Realistic expectations and time

For newly qualified dentists out there, my advice would be to remain realistic about what you can achieve. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew and end up trying to cram 10-minute jobs into 5 minutes! That’s too much pressure and it could lead to mistakes or you falling out of love with dentistry, very early on. I would also recommend a role as a regional dentist for someone like Rodericks if the opportunity presents itself. You may have to travel a fair amount but it’s useful to work in different places and with different professionals and patients in order to establish what you do and don’t like.


For more information please visit www.rodericksdentalcareers.co.uk, please contact Christina Regan at recruitment@rodericksdental.co.ukor

on 01604 970988(option 1)





Author bio:


Dr Stephanie Kirby is an associate dentist at Rodericks Dental’s Tamworth Dental Practice.


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