Sukhpreet is a current student at King’s College London on the Dental Programme for Medical Graduates course. In this Dental Student Case Study he talks about his motivations for completing a second degree in Dentistry and his advice on the Dental School application process. Read on to find out about his personal experiences of studying Dentistry and his thoughts on a future career!
What was your pre-dental school experience?
I first studied Medicine at Imperial College London. During this time I intercalated for a year (which is compulsory at Imperial) to study Endocrinology. I then began work in the NHS completing my foundation training years in London and my core training years in Scotland during which I passed my exams to become a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons.
During my time at Imperial I became interested in surgery after spending time on rotations in different surgical departments. Although I was interested in surgery I hadn’t found a speciality that I was passionate about until the end of my medical degree. Whilst I was in my final year, I particularly enjoyed my ENT and plastics rotations. It was during this time that I met an inspiring patient undergoing facial reconstruction and this gave me the drive to pursue maxillofacial surgery as a career.
Why did you choose the schools you applied for?
I applied to King’s College London because they have a three year programme to study Dentistry for those who have a Medical Degree. This was the main factor in my decision and as no other Dental Schools offered an accelerated programme I only applied to King’s.
I wouldn’t advise other applicants to only apply to one Dental School, it is best to keep your options open and have fall back positions.
How has studying Dentistry differed from your Medical Degree?
Most aspects of studying Dentistry is largely practical, during a medical degree you are only observing, whereas I have already begun to see patients. Although patient visits are guided by a clinical tutor I have been able to interact with patients and decide on their treatment plans. The practical elements of the degree have allowed me to keep on top of my manual dexterity skills that I will need as a surgeon.
There is a certain degree or overlap with a Medical degree which has made the accelerated programme easier. This is mainly content in lectures that relates to physiology however, specific dental related content is new.
What about the future?
Hopefully after finishing I will go on to complete my vocational training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. I’m deciding between working in the UK or abroad after I finish my training.