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A week in the life of a Dental Dean

16 June 2017

A week in the life of a Dental Dean

For our weekly article we have another piece from Paul Colthard, Head of Dentistry at the University of Manchester.

Paul shares some recent undergraduate and postgraduate updates from the dental school, and provides some interesting insights into what goes into being a dental dean.  Read on and you can also find out what life is like at the home of our MSc in Restorative & Aesthetic Dentistry

Most but not all our BDS students Finals last week and the results were published last Friday afternoon. The results were published this week for end of year examinations for all other undergraduate years. Last Saturday we celebrated the success of the Final BSc and BDS examinations with a Graduation Ball in the Whitworth Hall. This was a fantastic occasion for students and staff. Many thanks to all the students who organised it, Georgia Barron, Maeve Flanagan, Kerry Wilson, Pav Chana, Lucy Simpkin, Paras Alizadeh, Victoria Fowler, Adam Richardson, Caroline Smith, Jenny Spiller, Lucy Rees, Michael Orlans and Sam Hill.

Students graduating are going to miss us as they move to the next chapter of their lives but can keep in touch via SOMANDA (Society of Manchester Dental Alumni) in addition to the usual social media means. Most leaving students have already signed up for SOMANDA membership but I encourage others to join too as Newsletters will keep you informed and an annual CPD event with dinner will give you an opportunity to meet up. Membership is open to BSc and BDS graduates of our Dental School as well as present and former members of staff.

Dr Neil Patel and I delivered a Year 3 Symposium yesterday now that examinations are done. Term continues for most undergraduate students until the summer break!

Professor Nick Grey is External Examiner this week at the University of Kuala Lumpur Dental School of their undergraduate Finals examination. Professor Hugh Devlin will also be in Kuala Lumpur shortly

Dr Sarah Lampitt is now the university Liaison Lead for Outreach Undergraduate Teaching. Mr Alan Jack previously undertook this role but is now Year 2 BDS Lead. Many thanks indeed to Mr Jack in undertaking the outreach role.

There was a School of Medical Sciences Board Meeting on Monday where the University 2020 agenda was discussed. I also attended a regular CMFT/NHS and University Liaison meeting and the School Executive Committee Finance and Appointments meeting.

We had a Staff Away (Half) Day yesterday at Chancellors Conference Centre in Fallowfield to update everyone on the developments of the past academic year and allow time for discussion around plans for the next year. This included discussion of plans to move to a mini structured interview undergraduate admissions process. The afternoon was followed by dinner.

Today MANDEC is holding its 20th Anniversary Meeting ‘Dentistry: Past, Present, Future’ at the Quays Theatre, The Lowry, Salford Quays and many of us are attending to speak or take part in panel discussions.

Professor Nalin Thakkar has been included in a list of the top 50 most influential Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people working in the public sector. Launched alongside a study into the lack of ethnic diversity at senior levels within the sector, the list celebrates the achievements of individuals at the top of their fields. Professor Thakkar is Associate Vice-President and Professor of Molecular Pathology at the University as well as Consultant Histopathologist at the Central Manchester Universities Hospital NHS Trust. Professor Thakkar arrived in the UK from Uganda in his early teens. After schooling in North London, he read dentistry here at Manchester, and completed MSc in Oral Pathology and a PhD in Medical Oncology, also at Manchester. Unusually for a dentist, he followed a research and academic career in genetics and undertook specialist clinical training in histopathology.


Paul Coulthard

Head of Dentistry

The University of Manchester

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