Hello readers and welcome to this week’s newsletter. As this week marked the beginning of the school summer holidays, many a member of the Healthcare News team looked wistfully out at the (mostly) sunny weather, infecting us with a sense of nostalgia, reminiscing about simpler times. This really started to get us thinking. If you could go back to being a fresh faced youngster again, just out of school and with the world at your feet, would you go and do it all again or would you do it differently?
Despite one member expressing grave regret at having never followed his dream and becoming an astronaut (I’m not joking!), most of us are more or less happy with how things have turned out. We’d all change a few things (obviously! Who wouldn’t?) so we thought we’d ask you: No matter what stage you’re at in your dental or healthcare career, is there any regret for the way things have gone, or are you happy with the path you’ve taken?
With the benefit of hindsight, would you make that move to private dentistry sooner? Would you have done some postgraduate work that would mean you earn more now? Would you have warned everybody about what the GDC had in store?
Stephen Hancocks posed a similar question in his BDJ editorial last month. In it, he was looking forward, instead of back, as he’d just visited some students keen to begin a career in dentistry.
He said: “It also enabled me to ask what interested them in dentistry as a career. I thought this particularly important given the current flux in the profession and the possible negative impact that regulation, contractual changes and disease patterns might have on their livelihoods between now and when they could be retiring from 2060 onwards. How scary is that?”
Very scary indeed!
If the future may look quite bleak, how then does the past look? It may have been a rocky road, or a steady road, but it’s the road you’ve taken to get here today. Dentistry can obviously still be a very rewarding profession. Your work can ultimately bring joy to the lives of patients and the financial incentives remain intact to a certain extent.
The pressures that Stephen points out, however, are very real. The regulatory pressures are many, complex and well-documented. The NHS contract as it currently exists is widely unpopular and the prospects of the new contracts are still unclear. Tooth decay remains a prevalent and ubiquitous fiend. Registrants who’ve been the subject of FtP hearings would surely have also plenty to say on the matter.
So if you could do it all again, how different would your dentistry career be? What would you do differently, and how would you improve dentistry as it currently exists today? Please comment below, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time...