George Cheetham talks to Dentistry Online about what it was like to take home the Best Young Dentist accolade – and why the awards are a positive addition to the profession.
How does it feel to have won?
Winning the Best Young Dentist award did really come as a massive surprise to me. I entered on a bit of a whim after a suggestion from a colleague who had won previously. I had daydreamed how cool it would be to win and how proud my parents would be – so when it happened I was totally over the moon.
Did you enjoy the awards evening?
The awards evening was a great excuse to get suited and booted. It was so much fun to attend an event like this in dentistry and to mingle amongst some of the biggest stars in the field. It’s also a great excuse for a practice event.
Why did you choose to enter the awards?
I chose to enter because I had seen how impressive some of the previous winners had been. I thought if I managed to get put in the same league it could help me gain some recognition. This could help not only progress my career, but my patients would see it as impressive. So it would act as a practice builder.
What do you think the awards are doing to the standards within the profession?
I know that there are some people who have previously judged dental awards as being ‘unofficial’ and almost just a marketing ploy. But I would suggest that they look more deeply into the effort that people go to for their entries.
These entries show off not only some really outstanding dentistry, but also drive – which in turn can only improve the standards of dentistry as a whole.
It’s a way to bring together and celebrate the hard work of the profession.
Have you noticed a difference in patient numbers since winning the award?
For sure. I have made sure to keep my winner plaques in my practice reception for my patients to see. I get a lot of congratulations from my patients – it really helps them appreciate the level of care that my practice tries to achieve. The logos don’t get missed on social media and our website too.
Will you be entering the awards again this year?
To be honest I think I’m going to have a year off. It’s going to be a super busy year with a few projects I’ve got going on and if I do something, I want to do it properly. My time is going to be focused elsewhere.
In the future, I will get a lot more of my team involved with other entry categories rather than just the Best Young Dentist award.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I feel that the awards are a great way to spread positivity in the profession. As a partner of a dental practice, I would look fondly on anyone we were considering hiring who has entered the awards previously. It doesn’t take a win to show enthusiasm. Anyone who takes the time to do ‘extra’ things like this will impress potential employers.
I think these awards bring a lot of the dental community together. To see people patting each other on the back rather than spreading negativity speaks volumes.
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