Alasdair Miller FCGDent talks to Nairn Wilson CBE about becoming one of the first Life Fellows of the College.
Alasdair Miller FCGDent (left) and Nairn Wilson CBE FCGDent (right)
Nairn: Alasdair, first and foremost congratulations on becoming a Life Fellow of the College. A few questions, if I may; firstly, what do you hope to contribute to the College as a Life Fellow and member of the 1992 Circle?
Alasdair: I was attracted to the College as its career pathway seemed ideally suited to a practitioner’s working life and rather mirrored my less structured career development with life-long learning at its heart. I have been very fortunate in my career and becoming a Life Fellow and member of the 1992 Circle allows me to stay in touch and continue to contribute. I have assisted with the development of the College’s Certified Membership scheme, based on my experiences as Programme Director of Bristol University’s Open Learning for Dentists and updating the arrangements for Certified Membership Facilitators. Life Fellowship was a logical progression for me: FFGDP to FCGDent to Life Fellow, to support the College as it develops and give something back.
NW: Growth in the number of retired and, in particular, Life Fellows would be a great boon for the College. Why should retired colleagues eligible for FCGDent ‘By Equivalence’ or ‘By Experience’, who are not yet members of the CGDent, consider joining the College?
AM: I have always enjoyed the collegiate nature of the profession and company of colleagues. The College, specifically the 1992 Circle provides a ‘home’ for like-minded retired colleagues who wish to stay connected and involved in the profession, albeit they are no longer practising. Fellowship of the College ‘By Equivalence’ or ‘By Experience’ allows retired colleagues to have their professional experience and achievements recognised and valued, with opportunity, amongst other things, to support young colleagues and put something back into the profession.
NW: What message would you like to send to existing retired Fellows of the College to encourage them to become Life Fellows?
AM: If one is retired and a Fellow, I would ask: What’s stopping you becoming a Life Fellow? In so doing, you provide invaluable support to the fledgling College, helping it to grow and prosper to become the Royal College all Fellows wish it to become.
NW: Is it a strength of the College that all members may aspire to becoming a Life Fellow in retirement?
AM: Yes, it is a strength, specifically as it applies to all members of the dental team. While becoming a Life Fellow in retirement is a personal choice, I hope that all retired Fellows, present and future will consider it a way of enabling the College to continue to grow and prosper.
NW: Finally, as one of the College’s first Life Fellows, what would you most like the College to achieve as it continues to grow and prosper?
AM: I hope the College’s Career Pathway will be valued by the profession and as many practitioners as possible travel up it and become Fellows. Having a structured plan for professional development that is customised to one’s own aspirations and circumstances is unique. The Pathway is a way to have your career development recognised and validated, whilst at the same time acquiring skills and knowledge in areas of interest that support a member’s professional aspirations. It encourages continuous improvement for the benefit of patients, the profession and the professional. I anticipate the College developing programmes that enable College members and others to meet the challenges of modern practice life. In the process, it is to be hoped that the College will be granted a Royal Charter.
NW: Alisdair, many thanks for your insightful views and comments. It is most encouraging and reassuring to know that the College will be able to avail itself of your wisdom and wise counsel during your lifetime. Thank you on behalf of the College for your commitment and most generous support. Enjoy being a Life Fellow.
Subject to being 65 or over and no longer registered with the GDC or an equivalent body, eligibility for Life Fellowship of the College is automatic for retired former Fellows of the FGDP, and for retired current or former Fellows of CGDent, the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry or any of the faculties of dental surgery or dentistry of the Royal Colleges of the UK or Ireland. Retired colleagues from across the spectrum of oral healthcare who satisfy the criteria for Fellowship are also encouraged to apply. Further information is available here.
Nairn Wilson is President Emeritus of the College. Those interested in becoming a Life Fellow are invited to contact him at [email protected]