BAOMS calls on Dental Deans to give dentists fair access to Royal College exams
29 March 2019 (Last updated: 1 Apr 2019 12:30)
British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) continues to lobby Dental Deans to give dentists access to Royal College exams. The specialist association says this would help advance dentists’ careers and support those who want to join the oral surgery specialist list.
There are hundreds of dentists with oral surgery skills who work in hospitals and in dental practices across the UK. But, unlike doctors in similar medical posts who can apply to their regulator the General Medical Council (GMC) for a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) based on knowledge and skills, the General Dental Council (GDC) only allows applications to the oral surgery specialist list on the basis of academic qualifications and research.
As part of a CESR portfolio in surgery doctors who are not in training programmes can apply for the FRCS* exam in their specialty if they can supply three supporting references. Dentists not in training programmes have no similar route. Exam regulations for the Membership in Oral Surgery and Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Exam** rule them ineligible and discriminate in favour of specialty trainees and those on expensive Master’s programmes.
Vinita Shekar and Parminder Shoker, both hospital dentists who represent this group of dentists on BAOMS Council and in the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng), said: “We are frustrated that we do not have access to the Membership in Oral Surgery (MOral Surg) or the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Exam (ISFE). Doctors in our position can sit the FRCS exam, but dentists who want to sit oral surgery exams to advance their careers or help them apply to get on the specialist list are excluded.”
In The oral surgery specialist list: what will happen as the ‘grandfathers’ disappear?, published today in the RCSEng’s Faculty Dental Journal, the review authors (Marnie Fullarton, Sarah Jadun, Anne Begley and Patrick Magennis) highlight the steady reduction in the number of specialists in the General Dental Council’s (GDC) Oral Surgery specialist list, unless something changes soon.
The paper quotes evidence from the Northern Ireland training scheme where oral surgery practices deliver care outside hospitals, save the NHS money and importantly provide faster, more efficient care.
BAOMS Chair Patrick Magennis said the call for access to surgical college exams is extremely important for quality assurance and patient safety. He argues that dentists with oral surgery skills and knowledge, whether they work in hospitals or in high street practices, should be allowed to demonstrate their abilities and advance their careers.
“It’s not about passing an exam as a shortcut onto the specialist list, but having a way to demonstrate knowledge. I am disappointed that the Dental Deans do not change the regulations to give these key workers in OMFS departments and skilled dentists working on the high-street this important opportunity. I am also disappointed that our sister specialty association, the British Association of Oral Surgeons feels unable to support open access to these exams but want to create a different barrier of ‘portfolio entry’. FRCS exams for surgeons are robust enough to accept all comers. Other dental specialty exams accept candidates from outside training. Why should Oral Surgery exams be so different?”
For further information and interviews contact: Siân Evans on 020 8674 8921 / 07752 414433 or BAOMS
Notes to editors
- The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) promotes the advancement of education, research and the development of oral and maxillofacial Surgery in Great Britain, and encourages and assists postgraduate education, study and research. See the BAOMS website for more information
- The oral surgery specialist: what will happen as the ‘grandfathers’ disappear? by Marnie Fullarton, Sarah Jadun, Anne Begley and Patrick Magennis is published in the Royal College of Surgeons of England’s April 2019 Faculty Dental Journal
- Royal College of Surgeons of England
- * FRCS: Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of England is a professional qualification to practise as a senior surgeon in the UK and Ireland.
- **Intercollegiate specialty fellowship exams are offered by the four royal surgical colleges (England, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ireland). On passing the specialty fellowship examination dentists can join their royal college as a fellow.
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