Lynne Missopp

What is your current role at the dental school?
I am a Senior Lecturer in Oral Surgery, and am also the Senior Tutor. This is a Pastoral Care/Student Welfare role, which involves face-to-face meetings with students as well as online support and planning for future provision of Student Support. I work in a team of both academic and professional services staff.

Where did you study your undergraduate degree?
I studied at the University of Dundee.

What was your first job after graduating?
I did my Vocational Training job in a general dental practice in Peebles, which is in the Borders region of Scotland.

Briefly describe your career progression from that first job to your current role.
After that, I worked as a Maxillofacial Senior House Officer in Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry and at the School of Dentistry, Queens University Belfast. I then decided to do some travelling and worked in Australia for around 20 months, doing general dentistry in their version of our community dental service. I worked in Mackay, North Queensland; Ballarat, Victoria and in a mining town called Nhulunby in the Northern Territory.
I returned to the UK and took up another MaxFac job at Perth/Ninewells Hospital Dundee before coming to Liverpool Dental School as a Lecturer in 2001. I’ve been here ever since!

What do you find most rewarding about working in dentistry?
I enjoy patient contact as well as working within a team. Feeling like you have helped to solve a patient’s problem, be it pain or worry about a lesion in the mouth is really rewarding.
I also really enjoy teaching, even though it is really stressful on occasion!

What aspects of dentistry do you find most interesting?
I love seeing patients with complex histories – medical histories which I have to really think about when providing dental treatment, as well as complex surgical issues. I love that I need to continually learn about new conditions or techniques, as life would be boring otherwise. Finally, I like the satisfaction of taking teeth out!

What are the three most important qualities to have in dentistry?
You need excellent communication skills, problem-solving skills and patience!

Where do you think dentistry will be in 10 years?
I would hope that my role as an Oral Surgeon would be waning as we would have control of dental decay, but sadly I suspect not. I would like to see better liaison with our Medical colleagues so that patients with medical issues which have an impact on dental treatment can be better managed. I suspect we will have fewer Dental Schools and more teaching happening in the community.

What advice would you give to students applying for dentistry.
Don’t set yourself unrealistic expectations of what it’s going to be like! You may be the best in your school right now, but everyone in your class at Dental School will also have been the best.
You will need to work hard academically, but also have really good hand-eye co-ordination and a real sense of determination as it is hard work.
Be ready to receive lots of feedback on your abilities, both academic and practical and listen to what the feedback says. Don’t take it personally – just absorb it and act on it.
Finally, get used to failing before you succeed!! The technical skills of Dentistry are hard to acquire, so you won’t get it first time. But stick with it and you will succeed!

Laura Gartshore

What is your current role at the dental school?
I am Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry. I have the role of Chief Academic Advisor, with additional responsibilities in examining and the supervision of postgraduate research.

Where did you study your undergraduate degree?
I undertook my undergraduate BDS degree, and my postgraduate PhD, at the University of Liverpool

What was your first job after graduating?
I worked as a dentist in a primary care practice for one year, prior to returning to Liverpool Dental Hospital to work as a Senior House Officer.


Briefly describe your career progression from that first job to your current role.
After three years as a Senior House Officer at various hospitals across Merseyside, I commenced specialist training in Paediatric Dentistry. Following qualification as a specialist, I continued my training in order that I could become a Consultant, at the same time as working as a Clinical Lecturer, and whilst gaining a PhD and postgraduate certificate in higher education. This period included a sixth month secondment as a Clinical Fellow in Sydney, Australia. I achieved promotion to a Senior Lecturer role in 2017, and was awarded a Leadership Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2018.

What do you find most rewarding about working in dentistry?
I am very lucky - I love my work. I am in a position to enable children to experience optimal oral health and dental care, whilst supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students to learn to do the same for their future young patients.

What aspects of dentistry do you find most interesting?
Education and training of the future dental workforce, and working with children who have experienced dental injuries to support them back to a position of dental health.

What are the three most important qualities to have in dentistry?
Self-awareness, empathy, patience.

Where do you think dentistry will be in 10 years?
Children expect to retain their teeth for life - and dentistry is changing to enable them to do so. Those who organise the provision of dentistry at a national level are focused on improving children's oral health and reducing inequalities in their experiences of dental disease. In 10 years, I hope that we will have witnessed the positive results that we might expect of these changes.

What advice would you give to students applying for dentistry?
The secret to getting ahead is getting started. Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods. Speak with as many different dentists as you can to source relevant information to inform your application and the interview process. Dentistry is a career that offers many, diverse opportunities.

Sarah Mckernon

What is your current role at the dental school?
I’m a Clinical Lecturer in Oral Surgery and Staff-Student Representative for our Staff-Student Liaison Committee. I also have responsibility for designing and delivering educational resources for the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula.
 
Where did you study your undergraduate degree?
At the University of Liverpool
 
What was your first job after graduating?
I worked in a fantastic practice providing primary care dentistry
 
Briefly describe your career progression from that first job to your current role.
After working in primary care, I undertook senior house officer jobs in the North West before commencing a Clinical Lecturer post with specialist training in Oral Surgery. During this time, I also completed a postgraduate certificate in higher education. I qualified as a specialist in 2018 and have opted to continue my training to become a Senior Lecturer and Consultant in the future.


What do you find most rewarding about working in dentistry?
The ability to help patients and teach undergraduates, all in one job
 
What aspects of dentistry do you find most interesting?
I love the light-bulb moment that happens when undergraduate student grasps a concept that they have been learning
 
What are the three most important qualities to have in dentistry?
Honesty, patience and empathy
Where do you think dentistry will be in 10 years?
With an expanding elderly population, I think we will be managing more medically complex patients with greater needs in the future


What advice would you give to students applying for dentistry.
Nobody ever said it would be easy, but worth it? Yes.

Dr Kate Taylor

Professor Vince Bissell