We’re two months into our expanded student and new registrant engagement programme, which we’ve developed to build positive relationships with new and future members of the dental team. It’s been really enjoyable to deliver 22 sessions to around 1,700 new registrants and student and trainee dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In addition to creating positive relationships, it’s been important to tackle the misconceptions of the GDC that we know exist among students, which were identified in our 2020 perceptions research. By utilising interactive elements in each session, we've highlighted and corrected these misconceptions, providing participants with a clear understanding of our core functions.
Our team of presenters have appreciated the willingness of participants to engage with our discussions and interactive elements, which has helped us to have a good conversation, brought our content to life and helped to clarify our role and remit.
A positive response from attendees
The best news is that, from the feedback we have received so far, our sessions are welcomed by students and education providers alike. Almost 97% of respondents have already said that they found the session useful, which I’m really pleased about. We’ve received some excellent feedback too – a few comments are shown below.
“Informative and interactive presentation. Clearly outlined the role of the GDC and the importance of professionalism as dental students/dentists.”
“Great presentation, lots of opportunity to contribute!”
“I thought this session was really helpful and reassuring. I was worried about the GDC’s role, as you hear all the time that they are out to get you struck off the register. But I found it so helpful to know that their main interest is prevention in negative events occurring in the first place.”
The feedback from educations providers has been equally positive:
“I think the session went very well and I was glad to see the students engaging with the activities. I think the patient videos and the scenarios were very useful to help the students think about what it means to act in a professional manner while providing a patient perspective on these scenarios was very effective.”
Engaging with the wider dental team
As well as completing our sessions for first and fifth year BDS students, from April we will be actively targeting members of the wider dental team with sessions aimed at each of the dental professions. This is a key area of this year’s programme, to ensure that all trainee members of the dental team have the same opportunity to engage with us. As the regulator of the whole dental team, it’s important that we understand their views and explain our role.
We’re hosting a run-through of the planned content for these sessions with professional organisations and education providers at the end of March, to ensure they are as relevant as they can be for each audience.
Students and new registrants are really important to the GDC. Having the opportunity to lead this work and positively impact our relationship with future dental professionals has been a massive privilege for me.