Training as an academic and a clinician gives you the ability to both teach and learn; in addition to this it opens a path to clinical research.
I am a dental graduate who graduated from a University outside London and completed dental foundation training in 2013. I then went onto completed dental core training years 1 and 2 in oral and maxillofacial surgery outside London. At the end of DCT 2, I applied for a staff grade position in Oral Medicine at a Dental Hospital in London and then went on to work there for 3 years full time with a view to pursuing a career in Oral Medicine, as this has always been the field in which I’ve wanted to specialise in even as an undergraduate.
I since then have been accepted on a speciality training program in Oral Medicine with a combined ACF to it. This involves me spending 75% of my time in clinical specialist training and 25% of my time in clinical research. Given I am not dual qualified, my specialist training pathway is 5 years, due to the ACF component it will be slightly longer than this.
I think the clinical academic career pathway is a very interesting and rewarding one when it is organised well with adequate support available to trainees on how to build a career in academia. Training as an academic and a clinician gives you the ability to both teach and learn; in addition to this it opens a path to clinical research. In the field of dentistry, there is a high need for this, and research has always interested me and therefore this position is ideal for my career objectives.
Being based in London has given me many opportunities to work with clinicians and academics within my speciality that have a wealth of experience and knowledge to learn from. I have been able to work across different units who practice Oral Medicine and learn from them. Given Oral Medicine is small and niche speciality, this would have been very challenging for me to do outside London. Being in London has also allowed me to explore more research and academia opportunities via networking with colleagues from both my institute but also other similar institutes within London.
I hope to pursue a PhD via the ACF component of my training which will compliment my clinical training. I eventually would like to have a career where aside clinical practice, I am able to teach and partake in research within my field, and being a ACF and speciality registrar gives me the opportunity to develop in both those areas.