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Final Year and the Scotland Study Day

in Final year of dental school

Final Year and the Scotland Study Day

Lynsey Mailer is a final year student at the University of Glasgow and is due to graduate later this year. The article describes the details of Lynsey's experience of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) Scotland Study Day at the Glasgow Science Centre.

It highlights the fantastic venue, the confident speaker and the huge variety of topics discussed throughout the course of the day.

On the 22nd of November I attended the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK)) "Scotland Study Day" at the Glasgow Science Centre.  This opportunity was a welcome one, as dental students are not usually permitted to attend this event, and as a final year student of the University of Glasgow I was eager to see what the day had in store.

The setting for this event was a spectacular one; with stunning views across the River Clyde from the Science Mall to the magnificent IMAX auditorium for the course itself.  The IMAX screen used for the presentation was equivalent to the size of a small football pitch and five double decker buses high, allowing all attendees to have a brilliant, very large, view of all the interesting presentation content.  With seating for up to 370 people, the FGDP(UK) Study Day was very well-attended and the theatre was full to the brim.

The Faculty of General Dental Practice was formed in 1992 and its main aim is to improve the standard of care delivered to patients.  The FGDP achieves its aim by providing training and continuing professional development opportunities for its members.  Membership is available to all dental professionals, including nurses and DCPs.

The course was given by Gordon Christensen, the Founder and Director of Practical Clinical Courses and Chief Executive Officer of Clinicians Report Foundation in Utah.  Dr Christensen and his wife set up the Clinicians Report Foundation in 1976.  This is a non-profit organisation which carries out research in a non-biased fashion and publishes this information for practitioners in order for them to make well informed decisions on the latest techniques and materials available.

As well as being a practising prosthodontist, he is also a well-practised speaker; Dr Christensen has presented over 45,000 hours' worth of continuing education all over the world!  Due to these endless hours of experience, I felt that Dr Christensen's presentation skills were effortless, and the content was engaging and often humorous.

The course was entitled "Bottom Line" and was said to include "areas of dentistry with the most activity and change in 2013.  With the programme set to include "State of the Profession", "Dental Equipment", "Aesthetic Dentistry", "Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology" "Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery" and "Oral Medicine" all before lunch; it was clear from the outset that this was going to be a whistle-stop tour of the topics.  Dr Christensen had an obvious passion for educating others and giving practitioners the information needed to make the best decision for their patients.  This was quite a revelation, as the clinical research for the majority of new materials and techniques marketed to dentists, tends to be carried out by the manufacturer itself. It is often difficult to know which is best and which manufacturer to trust.  Dr Christensen discussed a huge variety of techniques from the placement of fissure sealants to the use of lasers in periodontal treatment.  He described the differences clinically in products such as curing lights and different aesthetic crown materials, and gave unbiased data of effectiveness and highlighted how the most expensive product is not always the best.

I found this course hugely varied and interesting as there were several materials and techniques discussed that I wasn't previously aware of.  On the other hand, the content sometimes appeared rushed as Dr Christensen had so many topics to cover.  At times I felt that the speaker was unaware of the way the National Health Service in Scotland worked and that several of the products and techniques he discussed would not be available for NHS patients, so for many GDPs this may have been viewed as irrelevant information.

Attended by many students, DCPs, newly-qualified GDPs and not-so-newly-qualified GDPs, the Study Day was a very sociable occasion, with frequent opportunities to chat and meet new people.  The event was supported by many companies and organisations, such as Oral B, GlaxoSmithKline and Kerr, who provided a trade exhibition which was very varied, as well as being a great place to pick up a freebie or two!

In conclusion, my overall opinion of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) Scotland Study Day, held at the Glasgow Science Centre, was a positive and enjoyable one.  As well as being a social event, it was highly educational for me as a final year student, as Dr Christensen gave a realistic account of the fast-paced and ever-changing world of dentistry that I am soon to be a part of!

Lynsey Mailer


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