A Week In The Life of a DCT... OMFS at the Royal Free with Dayna Rosenthal

Next entry for my DCT competition... with Dayna Rosenthal.

Dayna Rosenthal, previous DCT2 in OMFS at Royal Free


My name is Dayna and I am currently working as a Community Dental Officer in Whittington Health NHS Trust. I recently completed my DCT2 in OMFS at Royal Free Hospitals (Barnet & Chase Farm) and prior to that, I completed a DCT1 in Special Care Dentistry in Buckinghamshire. I chose to go down the DCT path for many reasons:
  • To enhance my skills: this was the top reason that I applied to DCT1 and DCT2. I was keen to develop my skills in treating patients that are too complex to be treated in primary care under supervision. In my DCT post I was able to become inhalation sedation accredited and gain a variety of dental and maxillo-facial surgical experience under general anaesthetic too
  • To work with the best. The opportunity to have time carved out to meet with and perform complex procedures under the supervision of highly skilled clinicians including specialists and consultants was second to none and an opportunity for which I am extremely grateful
  • To get into speciality training: DCT posts meet certain competencies that once complete, meet part of the person specification for specialist training. DCT also provide an amazing networking opportunity for exploring speciality career pathways. DCT is where all those unusual cases are referred and treated, so where I felt the best publication opportunities sat
  • To work in a bigger team: since DCT posts are often based in hospitals, this gave me the opportunity not only to work with other DCTs, clinical fellows, specialists and consultants, but also work with health professionals from other specialities. This was yet another fantastic networking opportunity
  • Dedication to educational growth: geeky - I know, but the ample amount of time and support dedicated to CPD provided by the deanery and the department really appealed to me. DCT really encouraged further learning by allocated study days for courses and MFDS/MJDF adn even provided a study budget. DCT posts also dedicated time to carry out clinical governance projects, and I even got to deliver some teaching sessions of my own. These opportunities are difficult to find time and resources in general practice. 
  • Transferable life skills. DCT offered so much more than surgical skills. DCT posts helped me grow my skills in leadership, team working, communication and working under pressure. 


Prepare yourself as I take you through a week as an Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgery (OMFS) DCT in Royal Free Hospitals...

Monday: Following a previous week of theatres, which may include orthognathic, trauma and neoplasm surgeries, I have a zero day to relax. Hurrah! 

Tuesday: I can't go too wild on my zero day since I am on call in the morning. After receiving the handover, I dash to the emergency theatre board where all the specialities fight for the right for their patients to be treated first. After my best pitch, I attend ward round with the OMFS team and update our inpatients' plans. If the notoriously loud bleep sounds, I have to prioritise when to attend to it. Juggling these tasks definitely improved my multi-tasking and prioritising skills, which I believe are transferable anywhere. Later, I carry out biopsies, complex extractions and extractions on complex patients on my own local anaesthesia list.

Wednesday: Paediatric day surgery. I work with the paediatric nurses, anaesthetists, operating department practitioners and recovery team a lot on these days. This was my favourite list, since I gained some really valuable and interesting surgical experience under general anaesthetic including odontomas and ectopic canines!

Thursday: I join the team at 8am for ward rounds followed by a day on clinic, which is a lucky dip of dental, oral medicine and maxillo-facial pathologies. TMJD, lichen planus and painful wisdom teeth are commonly encountered, and seeing these on a regular basis consolidated my knowledge and communication with these patients and helped me understand appropriate and inappropriate referrals. I also see weird and wonderful pathologies that I thought I would only ever see in a text book, including odontogenic keratocysts and pemphigus. There is always a consultant or registrar around to assess the patients with you , and to learn from a patient in the flesh is a unique and unforgettable experience!

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: Being on call over a weekend is unpredictable. Some weekends are extremely busy with very unwell patients and some are so quiet that I bleep myself just to ensure that my bleep still worked. The on call DCT is responsible for managing the inpatients and patients that come through A&E. A normal weekend may include a few dental abscesses, lacerations, facial fractures and the odd (very satisfying) sebaceous cyst. I learned how to manage these cases and look out for more serious cases such as retrobulbar haemorrhage and Ludwig's Angina. If the on call is quiet (never say the 'q' word), I join the rest of the department for teaching where we have some amazing speakers and even some plating courses! I was fortunate to be able to get involved in some great audits and clinical governance projects and even deliver teaching sessions to my colleagues. 


With no previous OMFS experience, I was petrified about what I had signed up for at the start of DCT, but left feeling confident, with a host of invaluable practical and life skills within my armamentarium. After my OMFS DCT post, a fellow DCT and I set up a paediatric dental educational blog to update and empower dentists in providing good quality paediatric dentsitry in primary care, ToothFaiRead, which can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter



Thanks Dayna for your entry! Inspiring work by a fellow dental blogger! Look out for still more entries to come. There's also still time to enter if you are a DCT...



To ENTER: email your submission via the contact page on the blog
DEADLINE January 31st 2020

Winner to be announced in February

And GOOD LUCK!


Do you have any questions about DCT or the competition ? Let me know in the comments below. 


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