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Meet the FDS Board: Dr Selina Master

22 May 2018

Dr Selina Master MBE FDSRCS is the current Junior Vice Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons (FDS) and is also the Vice Chair of the Faculty's Clinical Standards Committee. Dr Master attained her degree from Liverpool University. She is a specialist in Paediatric and Special Care Dentistry and her interests include Dental Faculty Examinations, working with voluntary organisations and improving quality standards and patient safety. 


   A month in Provence or Lincoln's Inn Fields?

Although I retired from clinical dentistry in 2015, I was always keen to keep active any remaining neurons, before they finally dwindled away.

As I was fortunate to be elected on to the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) Board in June 2013, there were four precious years left in officio after my retirement and finally, more time available to devote to FDS issues.

Typically, a term on the FDS Board entails four meetings a year, plus Diplomates Ceremonies, and attendance at many internal committees such as Clinical Standards or the Patient and Lay Group. The latter ensures an effective patient and public voice in College work, proactively raising any areas of patient concern and by helping to influence standards and policies.

Board members are also co-opted onto external committees to represent the Dean of the Faculty and FDS. One of these I attend is the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Dental Reference Group. Each of these provides different areas of interest and opportunities for influencing, and for effective two-way communication.

Aside from committee meetings, the FDS and the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) receive notification of numerous national consultations of interest to our members and the wider profession. Stakeholder consultation offers opportunities for the FDS to influence future dental healthcare policy, and the Board works closely with the FDS to prepare these responses.

Life outside of the FDS after retirement 

Those who know me well probably did not expect me to sit back, and relax after finally laying down the forceps and instruments.

A career spent working with children and adults with various medical conditions, disabilities and/or impairments have influenced my choice of ‘what to do next’. I have found that my previous dental work, training and invaluable life experiences have influenced and enabled me to take on different challenges. They also help me continue to feel valued and useful.

I am now a Trustee of a small charity in Surrey, which provides networking, support and equipment for children with complex needs. I was accepted onto the chaplaincy team at a local hospital, where I offer pastoral support for patients receiving rehabilitation, such as amputees or older people following a fall or CVA. I also joined my church pastoral team and visit the recently bereaved. Having vowed never to study again, I naturally embarked on a certificate for Grief and Bereavement Counselling.

Giving back to the profession 

Over the years, I have sat on at least eight different committees within the FDS and have been involved with the development of a Diploma and the Tricollegiate examinations in Special Care Dentistry. It has given me huge pleasure to see candidates successfully achieve these qualifications, which is a testament to their dedication to learning. It is amazing to witness the Diplomates Ceremony and know that these dentists have benefitted from all those involved; from Programme Directors, Trainers, Educators to Examiners, and of course, the whole dental team. However, they have also, perhaps unknowingly, benefitted from many other important areas of work, which underpin this from within the FDS.  All contribute to the final outcome of a dentist who feels confident and satisfied with their work and a patient and carer who benefits from safe, effective and high quality care.

So whilst a Provencal farmhouse might sound inviting, and I must confess that the Cretan island sunshine does tempt me away for some weeks during the year, there is still much rewarding work to be done as a retired member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery.

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