MSc Dental Public Health Class of 2017
Medical Research Funded PhD Student
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL
I began my career as a Dental Hygienist/Therapist in 2002, working alongside general dentists and specialists, planning and delivering care to patients – essentially my role within the clinical team has been predominantly concerned with maintaining oral health and preventing oral disease. However, after working in primary care for over 12 years I wanted my career to progress beyond the individual patient and look at the distribution and burden of oral disease within communities and populations regionally, nationally and globally. Embarking upon an MSc in Dental Public Health (2016-2017) at UCL has provided me with the foundation stone of an academic career. It has given me an in-depth understanding of population oral health, oral health inequalities, and being able to re-connect the mouth to the rest of the body by looking at the common risk factor approach to disease and health.
The MSc has created a positive change within my own clinical practice – having an insight into behavioural science and understanding oral health inequalities has given me a better appreciation of the challenges faced by patients to maintain their oral health. It has shifted my understanding of disease aetiology from the biomedical perspective to that which incorporates broader social determinants that shape oral health and disease. This has served to tailor my treatment plans more closely to goals achievable by patients leading to improved oral health outcomes.
My time within the Dental Public Health family at UCL has given me the support, resources, and acquisition of the skills and knowledge to successfully gain a place within the Medical Research Council’s Doctoral Training Programme at UCL.