Student Blog

What can the BDA do for you? Starting out in dentistry

I visited the British Dental Association, based in Wimpole Street recently, for an afternoon with my Dental Foundation Training scheme. Before going, I did wonder what the visit to the BDA would entail. The afternoon was comprehensive and we left with broader awareness on what becoming a BDA member offers to young dentists. Advice when applying for jobs One of the major advantages of being a BDA member is the services they offer. The BDA can help you when applying for associate jobs. As a foundation dentist, you won’t necessarily have a significant amount to add to your CV, so your enthusiasm should stand out through your cover letter. Writing your CV and making yourself stand out with your ... »

Celebrating women’s contributions to dentistry: our new Society at KCL

In 2016, we set up a Women in Dentistry society at King’s College London and held an event in November to launch and celebrate our new network for students (regardless of gender) which aims to work for equality within the dental profession, at all stages of people’s careers. The aim of our society is to raise the profile and celebrate the contributions of individuals in our profession, to understand and address any barriers women face in dentistry, to provide accessible role models and mentors for undergraduate students and to engage in outreach and promote the idea of giving back, as well as developing our own skills and experience. There’s sometimes a bit of misunderstanding about why we n... »

First year advice: how to overcome common challenges at dental school

The transition from school to university can involve huge challenges. Here Rabia Dean, a recent graduate of Kings Dental School, gives a quick guide to on how to overcome these hurdles and ace dental school. How can you cope with the struggles of living away from home or commuting? If you feel lonely – you’re not the only one, many have been in your shoes. Talk to whoever you can trust – your tutor, friends or family. Universities even offer counselling to help you settle in. How can you achieve a good work-life balance? Work hard, play harder – take part in lots of socials and committees. Charity work is also very rewarding. Avoid peer pressure – don’t be... »

Is the future bright for our student dentists?

Every year we give a talk to the dental students at Queens University, Belfast, at the start of the new term, and each year I’m amazed by the enthusiasm, commitment and inquisitiveness of our students. In the context of the rapidly changing sector and profession we work in, we are often asked by students, what is the future going to be like for me? Navigating the road ahead Every student year faces different challenges. Fifth years are looking forward to reinforcing their clinical skills from fourth year, and will have to navigate the DFT recruitment process shortly. At the BDA, we are there to help you do that and each year, we put students through their paces, practising for intervie... »

Top tips for your final year at dental school

I’m starting this blog series in no man’s land; not quite a foundation dentist yet, but certainly qualified. Finals were wrapped up for the end of May meaning us UCLan graduates had a long summer ahead. I’ve filled mine with celebrations, holidays, celebrations, some part-time work and… more well deserved celebrations, after a lot of hard work! But despite a hectic schedule, I’ve had some time to think about my time at dental school. Rewind 10 months and I’d just started my final year at UCLan. There were a number of things on my priority list; assembling case presentations, revision schedules, but ultimately my number one was being prepared for the dental found... »

Does the NHS bursary matter?

Since I graduated in 2009 the financial situation for dental students has become much more challenging. Average debt on graduation has tripled and this would have had a great impact on my decision to apply for dental school. The NHS bursary makes a huge difference, and we have to fight to protect it for future generations of students. The prospect of overwhelming debt will have a disproportionate effect on the career decisions of students from less wealthy backgrounds. One of the highlights of dental school, and working in the dental profession, is the diversity of dentists’ backgrounds, ensuring the profession cares for the oral health of the entire UK population and promoting unique ... »

Student loans: reality awaits post graduation

Nick Ledingham and Sara Parrott outline how your student loan will be collected once you are in work. Once you graduate, reality kicks in. The loans taken out to cover tuition fees and maintenance costs whilst a student will now have to be repaid. It is important that you have an awareness of the likely repayments and the impact they will have on your cash flow. There are two types of student loan, both of which are income contingent, i.e. repayment is dependent on the level of earned income. In September 2012, the terms of the loan were changed. If you commenced studying prior to September 2012 you will have a Plan 1 loan, and for those who commenced their studies in September 2012 or later... »

CV and interview top tips: Careers Day 2016

Leadership and development director, Helen Sharpstone, gives her top tips on getting the basics right, including ensuring your CV covers all the things expected and makes the best first impression. She talks about the importance of ensuring that your personal statement on your CV is truly about you and sounds fresh and the need to have a range of skills, both technical and personal, to ensure you stand out from the crowd. During her session at Careers Day, she also gives her top tips for interviews, including the value of doing your preparation, especially rehearsing with family, friends or colleagues to make sure the first time you give your answers are not in front of the interview panel. ... »

Jimmy Steele debates role of the dentist: BDA/BDJ Anniversary Lecture

What is a dentist for? That was the fundamental challenge Professor Jimmy Steele set himself to answer when giving the first BDA/BDJ Anniversary Lecture on 2 July. He described how historically an epidemic of caries followed the arrival of sugar with tea and coffee drinking in the 18th century and that sugar had literally fuelled the industrial revolution, providing a cheap source of calories especially for those in the industrial regions of the north. However it was only really in the first world war that those in power recognised the impact of poor oral health as soldiers were unfit to fight, resulting in the development and formal recognition of the profession. Professor Steele went on to... »

Life as a dental student and BDJ student editor

by Anish Patel I’m a third year dental student at King’s College London Dental Institute. I felt dentistry was a good fit for me as its culmination of scientific application, practical skills and patient interaction isn’t readily offered with many other degrees. Undergraduate dentistry can be challenging, but also extremely fulfilling – learning and being involved with exciting new things every day! In terms of a future career, I feel I haven’t yet been exposed to a broad enough spectrum of dentistry to commit to anything in particular, so I’m currently quite open minded. However, this may well change as I progress through the latter clinical years. I also am Student Editor for BDJ Student m... »

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