by Faye Doughty, DCT 2 OMFS.
The transition from dental foundation training to a dental core training job in maxillofacial surgery is a daunting one to say the least.
At first, it felt like a bit of a rollercoaster! And unsurprisingly, it can be a bit knackering in the first couple of weeks. But it get’s easier, and dare I say, it’s very fun once you get into the swing of things.
I completed my DCT 1 in OMFS in Blackburn. Here I covered the head and neck emergency bleep and had in-patient responsibilities. Blackburn has a busy head and neck cancer service and manages lots of trauma cases. Three trauma lists run per week, which are reserved mainly for facial fractures and other maxillofacial emergencies.
But it’s not all unfamiliar territory, there are some teeth too! I got to get stuck in with dentoalveolar lists on a regular basis, undertaking more complex surgical procedures and expose and bond cases. This was a great learning opportunity for me as my area of interest is Oral Surgery.
On call shifts are generally busy, being able to prioritise tasks and be efficient with your time is imperative. It’s something that gets a lot easier as you gain more experience. There’s a fine balance between ensuring the ward jobs are completed and tending to patients in A&E.
The day to day is so varied, you never know what will walk through the A&E doors. Procedures can range from incision and drainage of abscesses, suturing facial lacerations, to removal of foreign bodies i.e. lip piercings gone wrong!
As a DCT in OMFS you will also be managing dental trauma on a regular basis. All great experiences which supply you with knowledge and transferrable skills that are applicable to general practice.
I would recommend a DCT job in OMFS to anyone. Working within the 4 walls of a surgery in general practice can sometimes feel quite isolating. If you’re someone who likes to work within a wider team, this is definitely for you.
It is a skin thickening experience, the knowledge and plethora of skills you will develop will undoubtedly make you a better clinician. I enjoyed my year so much I am now doing another OMFS post for DCT 2.