By ERNIE WRIGHT
Young dentists should forget about specialising too early and instead work on their communication and networking skills to secure broad career prospects, establishment bods are saying.
BDA president Alasdair Miller told 200 young dentists at the 2015 Careers Day: “Capitalise on your unique position as a highly skilled health professional. Don’t rush into specialising too early.”
And they should spend as much effort building good relationships with patients and colleagues as they devote to developing clinical skills, said Faculty of General Dental Practice dean Trevor Ferguson.
Both are really good pieces of advice because principals are only becoming more patient-centric these days, so they choose associates who make patients happy.
Of course, one of the only ways to verify whether an associate is as good with patients and colleagues as they say they are is to look for evidence.
The first port of call will naturally be LinkedIn references, then social media – any praise from patients in particular, but also evidence of friendly, conscientious and responsible discourse from a young dentist to their followers, which any principal worth their salt will see as a huge potential PR asset for their business.
Word of mouth will always count as the ultimate safety check on questions that are impossible to ask the candidate directly like: is this dentist reliable? Are they punctual? Are they nice to work with? Are they polite and courteous? Do they bring a team up or weigh them down?
Young dentists who go the old way of specialist courses for years after graduation will fall off the employability radar because potential employers will have a harder time finding answers to these questions.
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