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A first-hand account of FD training – Dr Megha Upadhyaya Rodericks Dental

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  Posted by: The Probe      14th December 2019

The transition from university student into the practice environment can be an exciting but challenging time for newly qualified dentists. It involves the consolidation of clinical skills, as well as developing new skills in terms of patient communication and administrative tasks. As such, support from FD trainers and fellow members of staff in the practice is invaluable to individuals during their training year.

We caught up with Dr Megha Upadhyaya two weeks into her FD training, which she is completing at Rodericks Dental’s Aldershot dental practice.

What have been the main challenges of moving from university to practice?

I learnt quickly that time management is hugely important! I see my FD trainers carrying out examinations in 10 mins – at university we had more than 1 hour. The challenge is therefore to be more observant in a shorter space of time. Also, there is a lot more paperwork to do, which needs to be completed as you go. Finally, I find the need to discuss pricing difficult at times. During my first week I struggled to remember to talk about pricing unless prompted by the patient. However, a study day in the first week on this topic was helpful. I am already much more comfortable discussing prices. Like anything, I think it will get easier with time.

How prepared do you feel for the FD training year ahead?

With my basic clinical skills, I feel quite prepared. It’s just a case of practising and learning from others to get better and quicker. I’m finding treatment planning more difficult as this needs to be completed quicker than I’m used to.  

The Rodericks induction for FDs was great to prepare us for what’s to come. It was nice to meet the other FDs and Rodericks staff. We were introduced to the benefits of working in a corporate and the extensive support network this provides. Other topics covered were useful too, like the basics of treatment planning, pricing, guidelines and an overview of the DFT year. I found the basic induction on the software used in clinic particularly useful, as I wasn’t familiar with it.

What are your FD trainers like?

Both my FD trainers are so lovely and supportive. They’ve made sure I know that they are there whenever I need them. So far, I’ve just wanted someone to double check what I am doing and to ensure the treatments I offer are appropriate. They have offered much reassurance and helped to build up my confidence. We even have access to the instant messaging function of the clinical software that allows us to contact the FD trainers without leaving the room, which is really useful.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to learning from my trainers and the extra courses throughout the year to build upon what I already know. Hopefully, I can get more of an idea of which area of dentistry I’m more inclined towards. I’m also looking forward to seeing a larger variety of patients compared to those that I saw while at university. It will be nice to look back at my progress in ten months’ time to see how much I have improved through my foundation training.

Are there any clinical areas you already have a particular interest in?

At present, I’m just hoping to consolidate my general skills. Rodericks offers short courses during the FD training year in areas like minor oral surgery and endodontics, which I will definitely take advantage of. Through these and other courses or study days that are part of the scheme, I hope to refresh and expand my knowledge. This will also help to grow my confidence in these areas, as they are treatments that I have less experience in.

For any dentists interested in becoming an FD trainer, it offers a rewarding career development pathway. It provides an opportunity to share your knowledge and skills and help the next generation of clinicians lay the foundations for a long and successful career in dentistry. To find out more about what the FD training year entails, look out for future articles as we follow Megha through her journey.


For more information about joining Rodericks, please visit, or contact Ashley Lillyman at or on 01604 970988.


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