How an MSc reignited my passion for dentistry

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Andy Harris wins MSc Restorative Dentistry Award at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry

Graduate Andy Harris was named the winner of the MSc Restorative Dentistry Award at this year’s Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD) annual prize giving ceremony.

Awards are given for the best grades and projects on every programme in the Faculty, but Andy explains why his prize – sponsored by the British Society for Restorative Dentistry – was so personally important.

“I initially took the MSc because I wanted to be a better clinical supervisor and provide my students with an evidence based approach to restorative dentistry, but it has given me so much more than that.

“It has greatly benefitted my patients in practice, it has opened up a new career as a clinical lecturer and Year Lead at Peninsula Dental School; and most of all I am simply loving dentistry again.

“I have spoken to numerous MSc students enrolled at other institutions and they often describe a very theoretical model; I wouldn’t have found that nearly as inspiring as the practical elements were, for me, what made this course so relevant. It was bittersweet for us here in Plymouth when the course ended – we were pleased to have passed but sad that it was over.

“The quality of the course organisation, the approachability of the consultants and the internationally-renowned speakers reignited my passion for dentistry and took my practical work to a new level. It is easy to engage when the MSc's patient-based and practical approach produces real end-point benefits for my clientele.

"I would literally learn a new skill or approach one day, and apply it to my patients in a practice setting the next. It was a hugely important course and one that, both professionally and personally, I’m delighted I undertook.”

Matthew Jerreat, Associate Professor of Clinical Education in PUPSMD, and Honorary Secretary of the British Society for Restorative Dentistry, said: “Andy was part of our first cohort of MSc Restorative Dentistry graduates, and we are very proud of everything that he and his peers have achieved. The sponsorship provided by the British Society of Restorative Dentistry recognises the attainment of excellence in this area, and we are very happy to be associated with the School.

“The programme was set-up to allow clinicians to continue their current working commitments while studying at an appropriate pace – and that we’ve helped Andy to rediscover his passion for the subject is testament to the commitment of everyone involved.”