Foundation dentists and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis

Andrea Ogden, Head of Career Development and Associated Dentist, outlines the problems that dentists at the Foundation are facing and talks to an FD in training about the effects of the current crisis on his future.

Foundation Dentist, Onkar Mudhar, works in the clinical skills laboratory

The COVID-19 pandemic presented the dental profession with a number of challenges. For those in basic education, however, it has posed unforeseen problems for a career that has barely started.

The foundation's clinical experience for dentists was suspended only six months after their training. These young dentists are now suffering from increased anxiety, a loss of trust and escalating fears about their future prospects.

We spoke to the current FD, Onkar Mudhar, about the impact of the COVID 19 crisis on his training and the questions that FDs are eager to answer.

Reduced clinical experience

"Those who complete basic education this year will be less clinically exposed than previous cohorts."

Decreasing patient exposure to coronavirus has resulted in significantly reduced clinical performance. As a result, the current cohort is less likely to meet the clinical requirements required to complete its year. To alleviate this, the requirements for the Final Competence Review (FRCP) have been changed.

However, this still means that those who completed basic education this year were less clinically exposed than previous cohorts.

“I just want to know if we are at a disadvantage compared to previous years. And if so, how do we ensure that we have the same level of training as previous FDs? How do we make sure that employers don't see us as less capable? "

Less clinical performance evaluation

Usually, dental students safely complete their routine cases by March and focus on more complex work. However, since this crucial part of the year was spent blocking, some complex ADEPTS (a dental tool assessment) in which the supervisor oversees an aspect of a clinical procedure has not been completed.

“Before the suspension, I had the feeling that I was doing very well with my assessments. But now I have no more clinical evaluations in the room with my educational supervisor. I believe that an inadequate ADEPT assessment could affect my confidence. "

A shrinking job market

"There is a lot of uncertainty … What types of dentistry will we do? What will we be paid for? Will we have a goal?"

While the profession is waiting for the contract to be clarified by NHS England, there is growing unease about the availability of roles for employees. Dentists are usually used either as a replacement for an existing employee or because the practice is expanded. Due to the idle time and social distancing measures affecting patient numbers, the need to replace existing employees has been significantly reduced and plans to expand can now be delayed. Foundation dentists looking for associated positions may need to look further away.

"It is more competitive now. There is a lot of uncertainty. Everyone says it will be more difficult to find partner positions. What types of dentistry will we do? What will we be paid for? Will we have a goal?"

Worry about outcome 6C

To reflect the loss of personal experience, Health Education England has introduced a new result for the FRCP. Result 6C is a conditional entry in the national performers list and is aimed at people who cannot demonstrate any outstanding requirements before the end of their training contract in August.

Although the revised FRCP will hopefully result in most students achieving the required satisfactory outcome (outcome 6), there is concern about the possible long-term impact for those who receive an outcome 6C.

“It feels like a red mark against my name to potential employers. We have two years to get additional oversight and to meet the outstanding requirements. If you have no restorative requirement, how can you remove this 6C result if you are in a DCT lot and do not want to do restorative work during this time? My educational supervisor really supported me, but I feel like those at the top have been left in the dark. "

Reassurance form HEE for result 6C

"In general, most dentists with an Outcome 6C are expected not to be at a disadvantage."

Health Education England has stated that Outcome 6C dentists will be able to make up for the lack of experience within a maximum of five months. Additional funds for supervised support are available for two years, and extensions are granted at the discretion of the local postgraduate dean. If possible, precautions are taken to meet these requirements during basic dental training.

It is still unclear what requirements are placed on those who oversee a dentist with a 6C result or how the financial compensation package is allocated. If an FD cannot achieve the missing skills within two years, they may need to complete a short period of vocational training through equivalence (PLVE). In general, it is expected that most dentists with an Outcome 6C will not be disadvantaged.

FRCP results across the UK

Northern Ireland has also introduced a 6C result, but it is worth noting that it includes additional options to that in England. There will be no result 6C in Wales. For inclusion in the performer list there is no option for conditional training after the foundation. It remains to be confirmed whether those who score 6C in England can continue to work in Wales or not.

In Scotland, all vocational trainees received a satisfactory degree and were asked to develop a personal development plan with their trainer that could be passed on to a new employer.

Advice and support

"The BDA is aware of the challenges young dentists face when they leave basic training …"

If you are concerned about the effects of a potential Outcome 6C, your training program manager is best to discuss your other options.

If you need to meet the requirements during your DCT year, please contact your instructor, who may give you access to surgery to perform these treatments. Even in the last weeks of the founding year, it is still possible to develop skills in dealing with emergency care, in telephoning patients and in treatment planning.

The BDA has published
Blogs about mental wellbeing and webinar records
Understand your wellbeing in a COVID-19 world. Members also have access to our 24/7
Helpline for advice and emotional support. Dentists can also access the NHS Practitioner Support Program, Dentists & # 39; Health Support Trust, and ConfiDental. If you need urgent support, Samaritans are always there and ready to listen. Please extend your hand and do not suffer alone.

The BDA is aware of the challenges young dentists face when they leave primary education, and we work with the relevant authorities to ensure that your education is not impacted regardless of where you are in the UK.

Andrea Ogden
Career development manager and associate dentist


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