I first joined Medic Mentor in 2017 when I presented at a Get into Dentistry Conference. I then went on to become the Vice President for Mentoring which included overseeing the Medical Leadership Programme. This has given me a great opportunity to develop students transferrable skills, as well as developing my own. I am currently the Chief Dentist for the Dental Awards Programme. This includes working on the operational side of the Awards as well as mentoring aspiring dental students.
I graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 2014. I then undertook my foundation training year at a general dental practice in Redditch where I built upon the skills I gained at undergraduate level, whilst learning how to apply them to real life practice. It’s important to develop your skills as much as possible, therefore the following year I undertook a job as a locum dentist. This included me working in a number of different practices across the country, where I took the opportunity to network and learn from different dentists. In such diverse careers it can be difficult to know what specialty is your best fit, therefore I believe it’s imperative that you treat your early career like a “buffet” and sample as much as you possibly can. In order to do this I progressed to core training and spent two years working in hospitals in the oral and maxillofacial departments. This taught me invaluable skills that I could then apply back to my clinical dentistry. Building on these skills I have been successful at gaining two highly sought-after fellowships with Health Education England and the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. These are non-training posts where you can gain insight and further develop skills such as leadership and management. I have had a very varied career so far and I wouldn’t change it one bit.
Not only do I see my career as a buffet but also as a spider web, with many off shoots that are all interconnected. Along with my clinical development, throughout this time I have remained involved in many other projects. I have gained my Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery post graduate qualification as well as a PG Cert in Health and Social Care Education. I have also presented at a number of national conferences including the Developing Excellence in Medical Education Conference where I presented a poster on the Medical Leadership Programme.
Throughout this time the Medic Mentor family has been a great support both personally and professionally. I have learned so much and hope to pay this back by supporting students in any way I can.
It may seem like I have been involved in a lot during my career, but the key to all this is balance. A healthy work-life balance is imperative throughout your training and beyond. In my down time I bake and spend a lot of time with friends and family. I also love to binge watch a Netflix series, when I get the time that is.
If you would like to post Dr Uppal a question, please comment below and she will get back to you!