David Bretton talks about what is was like to win the ‘Best Young Dentist’ award and why he believes the awards are worthwhile.
How does it feel to have won an award?
To have won ‘Best Young Dentist’ at both the Dentistry and Private Dentistry Awards is a real honour and for sure a highlight in my career. The people who judge these awards are some of the most respected and knowledgeable in our industry – to be acknowledged and recognised by them is a massive achievement.
This appears an individual award, but it has only been possible due to massive amounts of teamwork and the amazing support I have at home and in work. I have been extremely fortunate in my career for people to have put faith in me at such an early stage. To mention a few: Mark Tyzzer-Smith, my first principal who took a chance on a dentist fresh out of DF1. And then Darren Cannell and Andy Stafford who gave me my break from NHS into private dentistry.
Did you enjoy the awards evening?
The awards are a highlight in the dental calendar. The awards are in November/December and this serves up nicely to act for many practices as a Christmas party/end of year celebration. The venues are always prestigious, and the food, drink, entertainment, and company are always excellent. As dentist’s and DCPs we spend most of our time in clinical clothing; the awards are a great opportunity to dress up smart.
Why did you choose to enter the awards?
The awards are a great opportunity to really step out of your comfort zone and test yourself against your peers. Dentistry can be a lonely place and if we let ourselves, we could become quite isolated, confined to the four walls of our surgery. Unaware what others are doing can quickly mean you start to fall behind. You can become lost and potentially disillusioned.
I feel the awards are a great way to ensure that you are constantly motivated and at the ‘top of your game’. This is a positive thing for the clinicians who enter, but also for the whole team and our patients.
What do you think the awards are doing to the standards within the profession?
I think anything that encourages you to sit down and reflect on the things that you are currently doing can only create positive outcomes. There is no doubt in my opinion that the awards are constantly forcing those that enter to ‘level up’ and raise their standards.
Why do you think you won?
I think the key to a winning entry is looking beyond just clinical work. Of course, to produce outstanding clinical work is part of an entry. But there is so much more to it. I have always believed we must have a bigger vision and higher purpose. Dentistry is a profession that allows us to do so much good and if you have done this and demonstrate this in your entry you are certainly in for a chance of winning.
I think I won ‘Best Young Dentist’ because I have demonstrated hard work and drive since the moment I qualified. I have invested heavily in my education and clinical and non-clinical skills. This has allowed me to develop and show high achievement in my career so far.
I have engaged effectively with the profession, but also with my local community and the public I serve. I believe the most important thing is that you are authentic and show the real you. If you are your authentic self, you have no competition.
Have you noticed a difference in patient numbers/in the practice since winning the award?
It is extremely difficult for the public to start to differentiate between who is the ‘best’ dentist and who they should trust with their dental needs/wants. I think winning awards would not be enough alone. But it is an excellent thing to have to supplement your other marketing.
To win an award you will have already demonstrated so many skills and achievements that set you apart. I therefore feel it is more what you do to win the award that makes you stand out, not the award itself. My books are busy, and I am constantly receiving new patient enquiries. It is hard to know exactly what drives this. I feel it is a combination of factors, but an award certainly helps!
Will you be entering the awards again this year?
I will not be entering the awards this year, but I will be attending. It really is a great event and a nice way to catch up with friends and colleagues. It has been a crazy year for everyone, but I feel that dentistry has really been hit hard. Economically it has been a disaster, but worst of all is the loss of life.
Within this disaster however I have witnessed the profession come together better than I have ever seen before. The 2020 Awards will be a great opportunity for the profession to close the year together, appreciate one another, celebrate the positives, and remember those we have lost.
You can enter for the Dentistry Awards here and the Private Dentistry Awards here.
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