Another year has just flown past and it doesn’t seem very long since we all met in Sheffield and enjoyed dinner at Hassop Hall. This year by popular request our annual meeting is in Berlin where Tom has organised what looks to be a fabulous meeting, combining science with a little gluhwein
Chris Lloyd from Cardiff has ‘cared’ for the ABAOMS web page for many years, and we are very grateful for all he has done. In the spring, Chris asked if somebody else could take over this role. It was then we discovered that the ABAOMS web page was not very easy to update and the space available was limited. We therefore decided to overhaul the ABAOMS web page, increase the space available and ‘refresh our image’. The web pages (http://www.abaoms.org.uk) still needs finishing, please can you send me any photographs that you feel reflect what we do as academic oral surgeons (email@example.com) so we can add some colour to our web site.
During the past 12 months as an organisation we have been asked to comment and contribute to several national reviews. Simon Atkins contributed to the NICE third molars management discussion and there is further consultation Spring 2017. We have also feedback on the proposed generic GDC review of all specialty training curriculum and HEE DCT curriculum. I have been working with the NHS unscheduled dental care working group and have reviewed the exposure our students have to emergency care within dental hospitals.
Colette Balmer remains as Chair of the SAC. The discussion around extended competencies continues, as does the length of training. The difficulty in accessing the ISFE does not seem to be any closer to resolution A recent letter has gone to the Chair of the Post graduate Dental Dean – Nick Taylor to ensure that all trainees have access to ward management and trauma (these are both key components of the core curriculum). National recruitment of oral surgery StRs is being discussed with objective assessments as part of the process; as yet no details of how academic trainees will feed into this process.
In the early part of the year we undertook a survey looking at the workforce in oral surgery academic units. In the 8 schools there were a total of 17 senior members of oral surgery staff (professor; reader, senior lecturer and senior clinical teacher). Nearly a third of the staff were senior clinical teachers (a relatively new grade in clinical academia). The number of senior academics within each school ranged from 0 to 6. Two of the 8 schools were currently (or had recently) struggled to recruit senior academic staff in oral surgery. As three other schools have suggested that they would like to make external senior academic appointments within the next 5 years this problem is likely to become more acute. There are very few traditional full time lecturer posts, as most schools have converted these into full time or part time clinical teacher posts. Training is now through fixed length ACF/ACL posts. Concern has been raised about the difficulty of maintaining ACLs in academia whilst they are waiting for a substantive post to become available. If we do not provide additional support then ACLs will be lost to NHS posts – something we have already seen.
The group formed after the Dublin meeting in 2004 and initially published a national curriculum for oral surgery. Since then we have worked on a number of topics which have been mutually beneficial. We meet twice a year and the majority of UK schools are represented. Our most recent meeting was on the 1st of April 2016, hosted in Cardiff by Charlotte Emanuel, and was well attended. We have been working on a number of topics including working towards publishing our national survey of oral cancer teaching, led by Kate Taylor, which was presented as a poster at ADEE in August 2015.
Simon Shepherd has taken the lead on developing a virtual oral cancer competency and together with Emily McDougall, a medical artist/educational technologist, has secured a medical art internship for Anna Sieben to work on this project. This is to develop an online resource for all UK schools to access. In addition Simon has been developing a model for undergraduate teaching that he has trialled on core trainees and plans to present this work at our next meeting.
Nadine Khawaja is undertaking a survey about the teaching of chronic facial pain which we hope will be presented in due course.
Charlotte Emanuel is working on developing an undergraduate teaching video on exodontia which could be made available for all to use in due course.
Our next meeting will be at our conference in Berlin in December.
This year was the most successful to date with 13 schools taking part in the competition which was to write an essay entitled ““is coronectomy safe surgery or defensive practice? Discuss”.
The following students were awarded £100 for the school prize:
Megan Hunter (Dundee); Sher Maine Foo (Belfast); Charlotte Richards (Bristol);Stuart Fishwick (Manchester);Hannah Bradley (Sheffield);Anthony Dagnall (Liverpool);Anupam Chandran (Glasgow);Julie Potter (Birmingham);Ryan Howells (QMUL);Joe Harvey (King’s London);Romana Linkova (Peninsula);Rachel Harlow (Leeds);Decaln Hughes (Cardiff). In addition Newcastle awarded their prize to James Hills for the best overall academic performance. The national winner was determined by a small panel from the education group was Ryan Howells who is now invited to attend our next meeting in Berlin to present his work.