The GDC currently recognises 13 various fields of dentistry with regards to their specialist register. You are not required to join a specialist list to practise a specialty, however, only dentists on these specialist lists have the right to use the ‘specialist’ title. In this series of articles you can find out more about each specialty from experts in their respective fields, with advice on the career pathway as well as sharing their experiences as a specialist.
The specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology involves the diagnosis of diseases of the mouth, jaws, face and neck by microscopic examination of tissue samples.
In the following article, Professor Keith Hunter, Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, discusses how you can establish a career in this field.
Dr Keith D Hunter | BSc (Hons), BDS (Hons), FDSRCSEd, PhD, FRCPathClinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Unit of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield Claremont Crescent Sheffield S10 2TA
Where have you worked and studied?
Currently I am Clinical Senior Lecturer and honorary Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the University of Sheffield. After BDS and an intercalated BSc in Pharmacology in Glasgow, I worked as a vocational Dental Practitioner and also worked as an SHO for 3 years (including time in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery). I then completed my PhD at the CRUK Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow and clinical training in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, whilst working as a Lecturer in the Glasgow Dental School.
Following postdoctoral work and the completion of clinical training, I was appointed as Senior Clinical Lecturer and honorary Consultant Histopathologist at the University of Glasgow in 2008. I moved to my current position at the University of Sheffield in 2009.
Currently, I am also Academic Director for the Oral and Dental Academic Directorate in Sheffield Hospitals Trust and lead a research group of one Post-doc, 4 PhD students, 2 Masters Project students, one intercalating BMedSci student.
What is Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology?
Anything different you did/would like to have done in your own pathway?
I followed an academic training pathway which gave me a solid research background in addition to my clinical training. However, once the PhD was finished the focus was very much on completion of training, leaving very little time for post-doctoral research experience. Ideally I would have liked more of this before taking on the role as Senior Clinical Lecturer, with all the expectations that bring from the University.
Any other advice to a young student aiming to set off on the path to a career in OMFP?
The most useful advice is to visit departments and spend time with an OMFP if you are interested in this speciality as a career. Please come and see us – we don’t bite!
- GDC: Curriculum for Specialist Training in Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology (May 2015)
- RCSEng outline of the speciality: http://www.rcseng.ac.uk/fds/publications-clinical-guidelines/docs/addentspecs/oral_pathology.pdf
- RCPath: http://www.rcpath.org/training-education/specialty-training/oral-microbiology-and-oral-pathology
- British Society for Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology: http://www.bsomp.org.uk/
- International Association of Oral Pathologists: http://www.iaop.com/
- Exemplar ACF person specification
- The Gold Guide – A reference guide to postgraduate specialty training in the UK
- For more information on applying for specialty training programmes in your area, contact your regional postgraduate dental dean: www.copdend.org.uk
- Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection website: http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk
- Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook
- General Dental Council specialist page: www.gdc-uk.org/Dentalprofessionals/Specialistlist/Pages/default.aspx