Who got that job?

January 16, 2004

Sarah Holmes , 33

Clinical Director for the School of Professionals Complementary to Dentistry
Portsmouth Institute of Medicine, Health and Social Care
£52,640 - £68,505 pro rata

Job advertised in The THES , May 2 2003

A dentistry revolution was behind Portsmouth University's push to host the UK's first School of Professionals Complementary to Dentistry and address the national shortage of dental therapists.

The school, based in the Portsmouth Institute of Medicine, Health and Social Care, needed specialist leadership, so two directorships were advertised: one educational and one clinical.

David Rogers, dean of science faculty, says: "Dental therapists do many of the jobs dentists used to do. People most likely to convert are hygienists and dental nurses. For the educational post, we wanted someone familiar with the higher education set-up and dentistry."

Applicants were mainly from London and the south. Most had higher education experience, but little clinical. Having a foot in both camps helped Sarah Holmes stand out among hopefuls.

Holmes was an internal applicant, having lectured in oral health for five years and having worked part time as a university-wide learning and teaching coordinator.

She was also typical of prospective students. As a former dental nurse, Holmes had studied for a degree in health promotion and teacher training and was taking a PhD. She had been a programme manager in further education as well as an epidemiologist.

Holmes says: "I love clinical work and I love teaching. I applied because it takes me back to my love of dentistry and application of clinical skills. The new school is also an exciting opportunity."

Since starting last August, her main priority has been writing a new curriculum for three courses and project managing relocation to a new building in 2005.

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