Collaboration is the key
Professor Albert Leung, Dean Elect of the Faculty of Dentistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, is looking forward to taking office in 2020
Albert Leung’s career pathway to Dean Elect of the Faculty of Dentistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Professor of Dental Education, Head of Continuing Professional Development and programme Director of the MSc in Restorative Dental Practice at University College London Eastman Dental Institute has not followed a traditional academic dentistry route.
After qualifying as a dentist from Dundee University in 1985 – “It was great, and I received some excellent teaching and made a lot of friends; though the accent and the haggis took some getting used to, as well as phrases: like ‘a wee bit here, a wee bit there’!” – it would have been the norm for newly qualified dentists then to embark on and stick to one of three distinct career pathways; primary care dentistry, postgraduate training with hospital services, or academic research.
Professor Leung, however, took a blended approach: “To keep me motivated and interested, I looked for opportunities to combine a career in primary care dentistry, academic dentistry as well as to pursue my other academic interests, and this was neither easy nor fashionable”, he said. “I was very fortunate to have met some great mentors, who guided me through the primary care pathway at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, but most importantly the MGDS career pathway at the Faculty of Dentistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland which made all the differences in the end. “These opportunities allowed my career to be developed over many years in primary care dentistry as well as in academic teaching at King’s College London Dental Institute where I had fifteen very happy years”.
He has gained Fellowships from the Faculty of General Dental Practice, Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Faculty of Dentistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, as well as qualifications in music, law, and education.
Professor Leung has chaired the Examination Committee at the Faculty of Dentistry, RCSI and has recently completed his term as Vice Dean. He also has an extensive postgraduate teaching, assessment and curriculum development profile in the UK, Ireland, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Sweden. He received the Association of Dental Education (ADEE) Excellence in Dental Education Mature Career Educator Award in 2017, the same year he was appointed Professor of Dental Education at the Eastman Dental Institute at University College London (UCL).
After being elected as the next Dean of the Faculty, he will take office in February 2020. “I really look forward to working with my colleagues collaboratively, because they all have vital roles in moving the Faculty forwards and upwards” he said, adding, “I am so fortunate to benefit from the inspiration and guidance of the current and former Deans, the Faculty Board, Fellows and Members of the Faculty, and many other colleagues outside RCSI. Together we shall try to break new ground in dental education in Ireland, the UK and much further afield.”
“Dental education has come on leaps and bounds,” he observed, “With contemporary pedagogic approaches, contextualised guidance, defined leaning outcomes, and effective feedback loops, it is now much clearer as to the mechanisms for clinicians to improve their knowledge base and clinical approaches, both in undergraduate and post-graduate training, for the benefit of the patients and beyond.”
“I immensely look forward to my new role as from February 2020, and to work collaboratively with colleagues within and outside RCSI to move training and education forwards and upwards for the benefit of our patients and the dental profession.”
Careers Day 2020
The Faculty of Dentistry RCSI will host a Post-Primary Careers Day event on Saturday 18 January 2020. This event is aimed at transition year students, along with 5th & 6th years, who are interested in a career in dentistry.
Whilst the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland does not presently have a Dental School, the Faculty recognises its responsibility for public engagement to attract and retain a new generation of dentists. Consequently, the Faculty sees this event as an extremely important opportunity to raise the awareness of dentistry both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
For those students that travel to the RCSI on the day, they can expect fantastic presentations from senior academic staff from all three Dental Schools on the island of Ireland (Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and Queens University Belfast) describing what their dental schools can offer students if they choose to study dentistry. In addition, there will be speakers from different sectors of dentistry along with undergraduate student and graduate student presentations on their experience of dentistry.
Following the formal presentations, delegates will be able to meet the admissions teams from each dental school, along with dental student representatives. There will also be interactive stations and students will be able to meet and ask questions of dentists who practice in various fields.
Interested pupils should speak to their career guidance counsellor or teacher regarding registration. Further details can also be obtained by contacting the Faculty of Dentistry office: firstname.lastname@example.org