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Title: Exploring postgraduate development to demonstrate competency during endodontist specialist training at the University of Liverpool Dental Hospital
Author: Alansari, A. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 6988
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
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Introduction: The General Dental Council (GDC) prescribes the intended learning outcomes for endodontic specialist training in the UK. The GDC also requires all dental professionals to be lifelong learners. The purpose of this study was to investigate current approaches to developing a specialist endodontist that is fit for purpose and fulfils all aspects of the GDC requirements. Aims: - Identify the GDCs endodontic intended learning outcomes (ILO's) related to undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) training to establish the baseline level of knowledge and skill expected for postgraduate training - Gain insight into the perceptions and opinions of current endodontist specialist trainees over their current training and its educational impact. - Use the information gained to inform future best practice in endodontic training. Methods: Three independent, but related, projects were undertaken to achieve the aims. The first project was a mapping exercise of the PG curriculum against the UG curriculum to establish the expected level of knowledge and experience gained from undergraduate training. In addition, this mapping exercise would also highlight what knowledge and skills need to be emphasised during specialist training. Postgraduate ILO's were used as the map's main framework. Similar ILO's in the undergraduate curriculum were highlighted. Linear alignment took place of similar ILOs from each curriculum and the map of aligned endodontic skills was completed. The second project was a survey of the current teaching and assessment modalities used by Dental schools (located in England and Wales) in order to gain insight into the potential variation in capability of people entering into specialist endodontic training. Permission was gained to continue the ADEE Survey which explores a range of issues associated with the teaching and assessment approaches used in undergraduate endodontic education. The survey was digitally hosted, and the data was transferred to a secure Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for analysis. The final project was a series of structured interviews to gain insight into the perceptions and opinions of postgraduates on the programme of study. The syntax gained from this format of investigation could provide further data to enable identifying any shortfalls and inform future best practice. Following ethical approval, a schedule was constructed. Postgraduates were recruited and consented. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis (1) took place. Themes and codes were refined and documented. Results: The mapping project identified four main commonalities between UG and PG endodontic curricula – they were identified as the 'Golden Pillars' in current endodontic practice. These included the ability to assess, examine a patient; reaching a definitive endodontic diagnosis; awareness of current research and an evidence-based approach treatment provision; treat all colleagues and patients with honesty and respect. The survey project demonstrated major differences in the amount of endodontic clinical experience gained in UG training, as well as the type of teaching and assessment methods. The variation is significant between each school, and can even differ between students in the same Dental school. Data gained from the interviews, and subsequent thematic analysis, resulted in four main themes to emerge. Theme 1 was the postgraduates' perception towards having a structured speciality training curriculum, Theme 2 was the postgraduates' perception towards their speciality training, Theme 3 was the postgraduates' perception towards work-based assessments and finally Theme 4, the accidental role reversal. There was high level of agreement amongst the participants on the value of a speciality training curriculum. However, the data also suggest the potential for work-based assessments to be counterproductive with respect to learner mindset and how they can impact the learning of individuals with undeveloped psychosocial skills. Nevertheless, the data also identified benefits of other elements of the programme, such as research and peer assisted learning. Conclusion: A speciality training programme in endodontics should expect to build on the four clinical pillars that were identified from the GDCs curricula. However, ILOs related to endodontics are being achieved very differently in UK Dental schools, creating a wide variation of capabilities amongst general dental practitioners and new PGs, this is a situation that needs to be addressed. Within PG programmes thought needs to be placed on identifying current barriers to learning and over-coming them through actively supporting the learning cycle at the core of every endodontic teaching and assessment. This is a situation that will also help ensure the product of training is capable of being a lifelong learner. To achieve this transformation two phases have been proposed. Phase one includes achieving a consistent baseline of clinical skills amongst newly starting PG's. The second phase would build on the undergraduate ILOs and psychosocial skills to begin the development of specialist level skills through regular feedback, deliberate practice and reflection.
Supervisor: Dawson, Luke ; Jarad, Fadi ; Buckley, Charles Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.D.Sc.) Qualification Level: Doctoral