I had my first meeting with my mentor, Barry Cockcroft, today. We met at a coffee shop in town where we introduced ourselves and got acquainted. Barry gave me an insight into his journey from being an Under Graduate at the University of Birmingham to reaching the peak of dentistry and retiring as Chief Dental Officer. Barry outlined key personality traits that got him through the difficult stages in his career and shared personal experiences where he utilised them. In addition to this, we discussed articles and papers that would give me a wider outlook on the changes going on in dentistry and that we would not necessarily have access to through the University staff. I was also able to share my experiences of Under Graduate teaching at the University. Barry took into account my previous diary entry for him where I discussed my lack of confidence on clinic in treating patients and he left me with a lovely quote by Nelson Mandela: ‘I succeed or I learn’ reassuring me that it is ok to make mistakes and this is the time to learn from them.
I look forward to our next meeting where we will discuss the various career paths that can be taken in dentistry.
Ashana Gupta, 5th Year Dentistry