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A week in the life of a Dental Dean

26 May 2017

A week in the life of a Dental Dean

19th May 2017

The events of this week have overshadowed all else. The suicide bombing at the conclusion of the Ariana Grande concert has shocked the world. It is particularly natural to feel upset and emotional when you live and work or study in our great city of Manchester. I was examining in Kuwait from Sunday to Tuesday when I woke to the BBC word news and the horror back in Manchester. I quickly checked my emails and social media for information and was relieved to find that whilst one of our students had attended the concert with his sister, they were both safe. I was pleased to return to home on Wednesday to be back in a Manchester standing united in grief and defiance with everyone in the city. The reaction from around the world has been one of condolences for the families of those killed, good wishes for the wounded and condemnation of the attack. The resilience of the residents of Manchester and the rapid warm display of practical support to others in reaction to this major incident has won praise from around the world. Within hours of the tragedy many of our own students were using FaceBook to offer accommodation and transport to visitors in need. They were checking the safety of those in their student community and donating blood. They were donating money for those in need. I was moved to read of their compassion and felt very proud indeed of our students.

Resilience implies the ability to cope with additional demands and this will not have been an easy week for our students who were already experiencing the stress of examinations with much of their reserve used up. For those staff and students affected by these events, university support is on offer from our Counselling Service 

Examinations have proceeded as usual and MCQ Papers have been taking place for all BSc and BDS undergraduate students this week. Our postgraduate students are also gearing up for examinations.

We have had some really good news this week. Dr Senathirajah (Raj) Ariyaratnam has been successful in his promotion from Clinical Lecturer to Clinical Senior Lecturer. The Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre (MAHSC) University faculty promotions committee has approved the promotion of Dr Mike Pemberton to MAHSC Honorary Clinical Chair. Many congratulations to both! These promotions are with effect from 1 August 2017.

Examining in Kuwait was interesting. I was involved in comprehensive dental care presentation cases, unseen patient case and an OSCE. Sounds familiar? The standard was high. There were seven external examiners including Prof Paul Brunton (now New Zealand), Prof Jack Toumba (Leeds), Prof Jean Morkel (South Africa) and with others from the USA.

Dr Siobhan Barry was recently in Cairo Egypt speaking at the ‘Arabian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry’ that was holding a joint conference with the ‘Egyptian Society for Paediatric Dentistry and Children with Special Needs’ and the ‘European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry’. Dr Barry held a ‘Dentistry for the Medically Compromised Child workshop that was very well attended. She also met the Paediatric Dentistry Professor from Mansoura University and judged a poster presentation session which included a lot of Mansoura postgraduate students with one of them winning a prize. Pictures are on our Facebook page.

The BDA Conference and Exhibition is in Manchester this week from yesterday to tomorrow. Yesterday I attended a lunch renamed the ‘2017 Robin Davies DCP Research Awards’ in memory of our former Professor of Periodontology and Director of the Colgate Palmolive Research Unit.

There have been talks by Dr Claire Stevens (Paediatric dentistry for everyday practice, yesterday) and myself (Oral surgery, the emergency patient and antithrombotic therapies, this morning). Later today is Prof Julian Satterthwaite (Conservative techniques for toothwear patients, Friday afternoon) and tomorrow, Dr David Waring (Top tips for orthodontics, restorative and oral surgery, Saturday afternoon). We are promoting our Dental School and Dentistry Postgraduate Programmes at stand A13 on the 25th and 26th May so please come along to say hello and offer support to Wendy Gregson, Julie Spellman and Rosette Parr if you haven’t already. Last night I attended the BDA Honours and Awards Dinner at the Manchester Town Hall.

Delsa Ghorbani, intercalating BDS student, has just had a music video released

Here's a link:

This weekend I will be at our apartment in the South of France and back on Monday as it's a Bank Holiday.

Best wishes,

Paul Coulthard

Head of Dentistry



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This month's special feature is:

Infection Control


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