A Week in the Life of a DCT: OMFS at Worcester with Tejal Pankhania

So here is another entry for this year's DCT competition by Tejal Pankhania...
Tejal, DCT1 in OMFS at Worcester Royal Hospital
I’m Tejal, a DCT1 in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Worcester Royal Hospital, on the West Midlands scheme. I chose to do DCT because secondary care has been appealing to me since I was in dental school - initially I took this post because it has a 6 month SCD rotation, but that fell through because of the pandemic and so I rolled with it, but I absolutely love the hospital environment and doing DCT is one of the best decisions I have made.

Pre-work Routine

A yoga/meditation session and a very strong breakfast to ensure I have enough energy for the day ahead.


Mondays are major op days - our oncology patients. Ward round is at 8am and it’s buzzing. There are 4 DCTs in our department, each assigned to ensuring our patient is ready for their surgery - patient examination, drug chart, VTE, consent, bloods and vitals.

If you’re in theatre with the registrar and consultant, you ensure there is smooth communication between the theatre, anaesthetic team and the wards whilst ensuring you have enough sugar in you to last the 6-7 hour surgery without fainting.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Minor oral surgery clinics and biopsy patients - its a day full of extractions. Always so hands on and an opportunity to learn how to extract more complicated teeth that have been referred in from the GDP.

If you’re not on clinics, you’re on-call which is probably my favourite part of the job because you never know what’s going to come through A+E.


Thursdays are for jaw reconstruction surgeries - the osteotomies. There are up to 3 bimaxillary osteotomies carried out in a day therefore as a DCT you need to be organised and efficient and the key is for all the theatre prep to be done at least 3 days before (always ensure the wafer is present!) . Especially with the pandemic we need to ensure the patient has had their COVID test and been isolating for 72 hours prior.


Fridays are for orthodontic clinics - either pre-assessments for osteotomies or post-op reviews. We try to ensure all our surgical patients are discharged by Friday so they don’t have to stay for the weekend (which increases their risk of contracting COVID). Discharge summaries must be done accurately and ensure that the correct medications and follow-ups have been prescribed for the correct patient.

Saturday and Sundays

Unless I’m on-call (1/8 weekends), I like to invest in myself over the weekends as I am a firm believer of a work-life balance.

I play the Sitar, an Indian classical instrument, ensure I get a long-run in and a longer than normal yoga session, read lots and spend time with my loved ones.

Sunday evenings are for reflection and goal-setting and then from Monday, we repeat!

Follow me on @thebalancingdentist while I promote yoga and wellbeing for healthcare professionals (especially for those dentists with bad backs!)


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

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