Saturday, 30 August 2014

8 Interview Tips to Prepare You for Your DF1 Interview

Here's the second instalment of my guide to securing a DF1 place. In this post, I shall focus on the interview stage and the preparation you should do.

The Interviews


Whilst a lot of my preparation was in the form of workshops run by the dental school, I also did a lot of extra reading and interview practise at home. Here is what I would recommend:

1.  Attend any and all the preparation your university organises for you
This could be lectures, interview practice, seminars or workshops.

2. Register with the BDA
They send out a final year guide every year which is very useful with example scenarios. 

3.  Get in touch with the DDU
They may have been in touch with your society already as they usually run an evening of preparation workshops.

4.  Practise scenarios 
Practise with your friends, partners, colleagues, clinicians, tutors, basically anyone you can get your hands on!

5. Practise situational judgement tests (SJT) 
These can be more difficult than you expect and the SJT is an important part of your assessment, look at some examples and take this practice test.
I think the main advice I would give in regards to SJTs would be to focus on determining which option should be first and which one should be last.
And don't overthink it; you're a DF1 dentist and it's not expected for you to know everything - say you'd ask your trainer if you're not sure but be careful, for simple scenarios they may be a bit worried if you can't think of a solution yourself. 

6. Know everything there is to know about Clinical Governance
Focus on knowing its definition, as well as the definition of audit (see my blog post about audit here) and know the rounds of CPD required to be registered with the GDC as a dentist

7. Finally get to know all about those companies who have been sponsoring your Dentsoc events over the years
BDA - your trade union
Dental Protection, DDU - indemnity providers
MedDen, Wesleyan, Dentist Provident - income protection insurers
IDH, Oasis - dental corporates

8. Read the GDC's bible: their Standards for Dental Professionals 
This is probably the most important document you should take a look at.
These standards were updated last September so make sure you check them out!

The GDC Standards for Dental Professionals

For further information see COPDEND's website or check out the Dental Career Guide's website, or check out my post with my Top 10 Hot Topics in Dentistry.

So what do you think, would there be anything else you would advise those preparing for their interview? If so, you are welcome to leave comments below.

Watch out for next weeks post: What To Expect On The Day of Your DF1 Interview

Saturday, 23 August 2014

6 Things To Do When Applying for DF1

So it's approaching that time of year again:  DF1 Recruitment

This will be the fourth year that final year dental students will use a national recruitment system to secure a place with what was previously known as vocational training (VT), now dental foundation year one (DF1).

The national recruitment system was introduced to emulate the medicine national recruitment and with any system has both advantages and disadvantages over the system of applying directly to practices which it replaced.

In my next few posts I will outline the application process and share my experience of it so that those of you who will be applying will have more of an idea of what to expect.

The entire series of posts can be found at

The Application Process

STEP ONE - know your deadlines

This is very important! Make sure you know them: from registration, filling in the application form, submitting your preferences and of course, those all important interview dates!
A list of provisional deadlines can be found on the COPDEND website. 
If you want to apply to work in Scotland, they use a different system with different deadlines so make sure you know those too!

STEP TWO - register with the London Deanery

STEP THREE - fill in the correct application form
Remember to include two references (mine were both clinicians) and remember to ask their permission before putting them down.
And of course, submit it by the deadline!

STEP FOUR - decide where you want to work

The list of schemes is released around the end of September, but you can provisionally list your preferences before this if you want using the previous years scheme list as a guide, they do not tend to vary that much.
What I would recommend is focusing on the order of your top 10 and also your bottom 10. 
Also be aware of the popular schemes which are usually London, schemes which are close to Dental Schools and also GPT schemes. If you think you'd like to work in any of these, you should definitely put them first, otherwise you're unlikely to get offered a place there. 
Don't get too hooked up on the ordering of the schemes in the middle, you'd make better use of your time preparing for the interview.
And of course, remember to submit your preferences before the deadline! 

STEP FIVE - know your interview date, time and location

The dates and locations can also be found on the COPDEND website, but your specific interview time will be emailed out to you.
Also make sure you have all the documents that you might need, a list of which is usually attached to the email with your offer for interview (usually proof of ID, proof of address, visa etc). 

STEP SIX - prepare, prepare, prepare!

This shouldn't be the last thing you do! You should start preparing as soon as possible.
Newcastle prepared us very well for the interviews, but I know not all dental schools offer preparation. I'll outline how I prepared for the interview in my next post.

What happens next? See my next post: 8 Tips to Prepare you for Your DF1 Interview

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Greetings! My First Blog Post

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog:  A TOOTH GERM.

I intended to start writing in this blog almost a year ago but the small matter of final examinations for my BDS got in the way.

Anyway, I have finally made the first baby step by writing this, my very first blog post!

So let me introduce myself. My name is Natalie, I am 23 and I am a newly qualified dentist due to start my foundation year in London from the beginning of September. I am interested in keeping up to date with current affairs in dentistry, as well as health and fitness trends and literature. I also enjoy painting and drawing and hopefully I can broadcast some of the work I have produced as well as providing some handy tips for those wanting to develop their artistic skills. 

I hope you all enjoy reading some of my posts and I welcome any comments or feedback, I am a newbie blogger so please be a little forgiving!

I am also an active tweeter @natb990 and also use Instagram by the same name. I can also be found on Facebook and Linked in.

Thanks for your time!

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