The Association of Dental Groups (ADG) was pleased to once again host its Postgraduate and Undergraduate Bursary Awards.
The winners were announced during a prestigious ceremony sponsored by 3M Oral Care, on 18th March in The Library at the Royal College of Surgeons. The expert panel of judges included Dr. Christopher Orr, Professor Nairn H F Wilson, Professor Stephen Porter, Dr. Jane Gordon and Mr David Worskett, and Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer, presented the awards.
“I thought the level of entries this year was excellent,” commented one of the judges, Professor Nairn H F Wilson. “The event inspires innovation and individual activity, which is just fantastic, and students should be encouraged to take advantage of such opportunities.”
When introducing the event, Mr David Worskett said: “The ADG Bursary Awards provide support for dentistry education, help improve quality and professionalism and help to advance what is already a fine profession. Most of all, they encourage dentists to make the most of what will be a rewarding career.”
The Undergraduate Awards – ‘Skill Mix in Dentistry’ and ‘Professionalism’ – awarded Gold (£1,000), Silver (£750) and Bronze (£250) bursary prizes in both categories.
For the ‘Skill Mix in Dentistry’ Award, applicants were required to submit an idea that focused on teamwork and the use of various skills in the dental setting including ethics, professionalism, scope of practice and communication. For the ‘Professionalism’ Award, students were required to describe a time and situation in which they have demonstrated professionalism and ethicality.
The ADG was delighted to award Rebecca Exley, Danny James Watts and Ryan Howells with Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively for the Undergraduate ‘Professionalism’ category, and Awais Ali, Jack Stanley and Alan Lyons with Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Undergraduate ‘Skill Mix in Dentistry’ category.
“I am thrilled to have won such a prestigious award,” said Gold winner Awais who was presented the bursary for his ideas on how to use the multi disciplinary team approach to transfer responsibilities to dental care professionals. “It has been a great experience, of which I have gained valuable insight, and it has provided a good basis for networking with likeminded students and professionals.”
Awais also reflected on his reasons for applying for the award. He said: “I wanted to try my hand at something competitive and add to my portfolio of work. The ‘Skill Mix’ category particularly appealed to me, as it seemed like the most challenging topic.”
Upon receiving the Undergraduate ‘Professionalism’ Gold bursary, Rebecca Exley commented: “For me, winning the award is a pleasant accolade that I wasn't expecting. I applied as I felt it was an opportunity that perfectly demonstrated the skills and knowledge that I had gained during my studies. All in all, it was an ideal chance to reflect on what I’d learnt and I am thrilled to have experienced such a high at the end of my final year of dental school.”
The Postgraduate Award was open to all postgraduate students and dentists with a dental degree currently undertaking postgraduate training. With the standard of entries particularly high this year, the ADG was pleased to present Kara Scally with Gold for her proposed project of improving oral health in palliative care. In addition to the recognition of her hard work and forward thinking ideas, she received a bursary of £5,000 – £2,500 to support the effective delivery of the project and £2,500 as a cash award.
“I wasn't expecting to win at all, so I am really pleased,” said Kara. “In my role as a trainee in special care dentistry, it has become more and more apparent that as a profession we perhaps don't always know how to best help patients with oral health problems in the hospice setting. While in the grand scheme of things oral health may not seem like their primary concern, if you consider the implications, it really can impact on eating and drinking, communication, comfort and dignity, it’s really important that oral health becomes more of a priority. By engaging with the patients and their carers on a personal level, I hope to find a practical and appropriate solution to improving their oral health.”
Professor Stephen Porter, one of the highly esteemed judges concluded: “The winning entry is highly innovative. Dr. Scally is to be commended on her realisation that oral health is as important to individuals nearing the end of their lives as those at other points in their lives.
“Research is essential for the advancement of knowledge that when applied to everyday problems, will enhance the lives of patients and the public. The bursary scheme provides the opportunity for dental undergraduates and postgraduates to contribute to such advancement by funding studies that encompass professionalism and skill mix to identify and/or solve everyday problems of oral health care and its delivery.”
The ADG remains committed to supporting development across dentistry and would like to thank all applicants for their submissions to the Bursary Awards 2016.
For more information about the ADG visit www.dentalgroups.co.uk