The first National Chief Dental Officer's Clinical Fellow Scheme was launched in 2018 running alongside the Medical Director and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer's scheme managed by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. I am clinical lead for this scheme on behalf of CDO England, Sara Hurley.
I believe it is important that as a profession we enable talent to be discovered and provide a structured, recognised avenue by which those potential leaders are nurtured, educated and mentored into future roles.
The most important aspect of this scheme is that we work with our prestigious partner organisations, such as NHS England, the General Dental Council and the Care Quality Commission, whom share this vision in a fully supportive and collaborative way.
I feel we as dentists are lagging behind our medical colleagues when it comes to the importance of leadership, clinically led management and decisions.
There is a world of dentistry out there beyond the four walls of practice that we generally have absolutely no idea about.
We as dentists pigeon-hole ourselves into what we should be doing; how we should be thinking. We have numerous other skills that we do not celebrate enough. We are diagnosticians, counsellors, psychologists, innovators, surgeons, artists, scientists, business people and natural born leaders!
This scheme provides normal clinicians like myself an unparalleled educational experience in the socio-political landscape of policy-making and the strategic implementation, in which we live and work without even knowing it.
Read the GDC's current Clinical Fellow, Javeriah Mahmood's, blog here
Only once we discover and understand the complex organisational fabric that makes up our field, can we hope to change it. The medical climate is changing. We need to up our game as dental professionals by way of getting involved, unifying and educating ourselves if we want a seat at the forefront and if we are to future-proof our beautiful profession.
With this in mind, I'd encourage anyone with an interest in the programme to take a closer look online and think about applying to the Clinical Fellow Scheme.
Open for applications:
w/c 25 February 2019
What's it all about webinar:
28 March 2019
Closing date for applications:
11 April 2019, 9am
24 April 2019, 6-8pm
1 May 2019
1 September 2019
About the Scheme
The Chief Dental Officer's Clinical Fellow Scheme for dentists in England is sponsored by the Chief Dental Officer of NHS England and managed by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. The scheme has been established to fast track and support those dentists who present with the clearest potential to develop as dentistry leaders of the future.
About the author
Dr. Nishma Sharma is a Hertfordshire based wet-fingered dentist working three days a week in clinical dentistry. Qualifying in 2003 from Guy's King's and St. Thomas' dental school, she worked in various practices throughout London before settling with her young family in a small leafy market town in 2012.
Nishma started off as a Dental Clinical Fellow for the Office of the Chief Dental Officer, working alongside Deputy Chief Dental Officer, Eric Rooney, on the Leading the Change work stream which incorporates Dental Contract Reform and Leadership in Dentistry. She also works closely with LDN Chairs as a go-between for the OCDO and the local networks attempting to provide the balance between national and local, top-down/bottom-up consultation.