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Last week at the Dental School at University of Manchester

3 November 2017

Last week at the Dental School at University of Manchester

Now it’s November and the beginning of the end of the year, it’s as busy as ever in the Dental School at the University of Manchester. I was examining for the ISFE (Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Examination) in Oral Surgery Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow at the start of the week. This is a very robust examination that is for those at the end of consultant training. It provides a useful time for examiner learning too! The standing setting and time spent preparing questions and discussing with colleagues are very helpful.

Year 5 BDS students have started having Situational Judgment tests at various assessment centres as part of the Dental Foundation posts national application process. I know that students get anxious about this process but please remember that it is an interview process and not an examination and just for a job that lasts one year! The process is a little over the top in my view. Most dental school deans have the same view! Please keep this in perspective.

I had my own consultant Appraisal meeting this week. This always provides a useful moment to stop and reflect and plan ahead.

There was the first Stakeholder Meeting for my domestic violence research project on Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, I had to leave Darragh Downey, Research Associate, to lead the event as I was called away urgently to visit my father who had been urgently admitted. Darragh did a great job and the project now feels like it is properly up and running.

Neil Patel, Rebecca Craven and Reza Roudsari are flying to Egypt today and will be spending a few days providing training to staff at Mansoura University, Egypt, who are embarking on using our BDS curriculum under licence. The first new entrants on the Manchester-Mansoura BDS programme started last month. I am sure that they will have a lot of questions now that the students are there! I will be joining by telephone conference to deliver a talk on Sunday morning to staff at Mansoura.

The Voluntary Severance Scheme was recently closed and there was an announcement yesterday from Professor Ian Greer, Faculty Dean, that sufficient applications had been received so that it will not be necessary to introduce a compulsory redundancy process in the Faculty.  It was therefore confirmed that all academic colleagues who were originally in the scope of the process were no longer ‘at risk’ of redundancy. The 2020 process has caused a period of uncertainty and anxiety for many colleagues and this has been recognised. Professor Greer thanked the staff for his announcement for their patience and professionalism during this time.

We have our Dent Man Autumn conference on Wednesday afternoon 22nd November for all students and any staff who also wish to attend. This provides an ideal platform for students who have spent time volunteering overseas to share their experiences and in turn inspire future volunteers. The event is organised by Dr Raj Ariyaratnam and a team of students and staff. Please put the date in your diary.

Yesterday was my birthday and whilst I enjoy celebrating other peoples’ birthdays I don't usually make much, if any, effort to celebrate my own! I was persuaded to make more effort this time and had a wonderful time with friends having dinner at Adam Reid at The French! It was at the end of surreal 24 hours of being advised to visit my father urgently, discussing family DNR wishes, preparing for the worst and then being surprised by his survival. I was due to travel to Mansoura today with Neil Patel, Rebecca Craven and Reza Roudsari but decided against my usual 'the show must go on' attitude and do the sensible thing and stay at home so I can spend time with my father, mother and sister. I’m planning to give a talk to Mansoura staff on Sunday via conference call.


Best wishes,

Paul Coulthard

Head of Dentistry


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