Katrine currently works as a dental associate at a practice in Bromsgrove and has also completed Dental Core training at Birminghams Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Please can you give a brief history of your career since graduating from the University of Birmingham?
I graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Bachelors of Dental Surgery (BDS) in July 2014. After qualifying, I completed Dental Foundation Training at a dental practice in Warwick. This was a busy mixed NHS/private practice with a diverse patient base. Following this I decided that I wanted to branch out of practice and further develop my skills within a hospital setting, and was lucky enough to gain a job as a Senior House Officer.
My first job as a Senior House Officer involved working for Birmingham Community Health Care Trust within the community. This consisted of consultant led clinics in paediatric dentistry, special care and anxious adults. I particularly enjoyed gaining experience in treating patients with inhalation and intravenous sedation, and the general management of anxious patients.
Following this I worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, on the Oral and Maxillofacial department. This consisted of the management of extreme dental infections, facial trauma and oral surgery, working with amazing surgeons and a wonderful team of other SHOs. This exposed me to high-pressure situations and taught me invaluable skills, an experience I will never forget. I used my time as an SHO to undertake audits and projects, whilst completing exams to gain a Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MFDS RCS Ed).
I am currently working within the General Dental Practice setting at a dental practice in Bromsgrove as a dental associate and thoroughly enjoying it.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
I currently work as a dental associate at a mixed NHS/private dental practice in Bromsgrove. General dentistry is fantastic as each day entails such a variety of treatment modalities, and I like the consistency of being able to build a rapport with patients.
What do you love the most about your job and what is the biggest challenge?
The thing I love most are the patients. They really make the day interesting and it’s so lovely to see so many faces and have different conversations in one day. I also like how unpredictable the job is, you never know what dental problem is going to walk through the door. No two treatments are ever the same and each one has its own challenge. There is so much variety in general dentistry and I particularly enjoy the satisfaction after completing treatment and patients leaving happy. I’m also lucky enough to work with an amazing team who make me enjoy going to work. The biggest challenge I would say is managing patient expectations.
How did your degree help prepare you for your career?
I found shadowing senior students very valuable, this exposed us to “real life” dentistry and a lot can be gained from observing I believe. The work we carried out on phantom heads in the Clinical Labs were also very valuable as we could really put our practical skills to the test.
What attracted you to studying at Birmingham?
I really liked the campus and the city, and heard it was very good for dentistry!
How would you sum up your time in Birmingham in three words?
Exciting, challenging, enjoyable.
What inspired you most during your time at Birmingham?
How hard people around me worked and what could be achieved through dentistry - the different avenues that are possible.
What tips/ advice would you give to people who are considering studying Dental Surgery at Birmingham?
I would advise students to stay on top of their work as they go along because it can easily accumulate. I would also encourage them to keep a record of anything they do practically so that they can keep this in their portfolio. My biggest piece of advice would be to ask people in the years above you what to do and how to get there. People are always willing to help…you just need to ask.
How would you advise people to make the most of their time on their course?
I would go to as many socials as possible and connect with others. Don’t spend too much time studying but make sure you’re generally on top of things. Have fun!