Andrew Hadden has been awarded the prestigious College Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the College. 

Reserved for no more than one recipient per year, the College Medal is awarded for exceptional service of the dental profession and its patients in a manner aligned with the values and mission of the College. Dr Hadden has received the award in recognition of his considerable contributions over many years, including through the College and the former Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP). Previous winners (including of the preceding Faculty Medal) were Shelagh Farrell, Mike Mulcahy, Nikolaus Palmer, Professor Ken Eaton and Ian Mills.

After graduating BDS from Glasgow University in 1974, Andrew worked full-time in the dental hospital service for several years before entering general practice. In 1984 he become a partner in the practice, and also continued part-time as a hospital practitioner in oral surgery for over twenty years. He remained a partner until 2007 and continued with part-time associate work until 2010.

In 1993 he became a part-time dental advisor with the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS), becoming a full-time adviser in 2007, while retaining some sessional work in general practice. He holds an MPhil in Medical Law & Ethics, and on leaving the MDDUS in 2013 continued to be involved in the dento-legal field on a freelance basis, and to deliver undergraduate and postgraduate education in dental law and ethics.

Involved with the FGDP from its inception in 1992, he was one of the early holders of the coveted Membership in General Dental Surgery (MGDS) qualification, and subsequently the Fellowship (FFGDP(UK)). An active member in the Faculty’s West of Scotland Division, he was Secretary for eleven years and is currently assisting in the compilation of its history.

He was an examiner for the Faculty’s membership examination (MFGDP) from 1995 to 2004, and an Assessor for its Career Pathway route to Fellowship, becoming Chair of the Fellowship Assessment Board in 2009. He then served as a member of the Fellowship Development Group which rationalised the five different routes previously available, and in 2013 was appointed Chief Assessor for the newly unified route.

In 2003 he was elected to the National FGDP Board, and over the next eleven years, was a Member and/or Chair of its Education, Examinations, External Affairs, Revalidation, Finance and Credit Transfer Committees, served twice as Vice Dean and was closely involved in its Dental Care Professional Development Group. In 2020, he was appointed to the Faculty Academy as a Senior Member, and he is now a Fellow of CGDent.

He is well known as Editor of the second and third editions of Clinical Examination & Record Keeping: Good Practice Guidelines, which have received over a million page views online, and of which 10,000 print copies have been sold. Originally developed under the auspices of the FGDP, and now published by the College, it has been praised for its relevance, clarity and structure, and has for many years been the primary reference on its subject for practitioners and regulators alike, both in the UK and elsewhere. Notably, in the current third edition Dr Hadden introduced terminology to differentiate between ‘Aspirational’ and ‘Basic’ standards of practice. This change succeeded in reducing misinterpretation of aspirational guidance as essential requirements, and has since been adopted for other FGDP/CGDent guidance and standards publications.

He was also a contributor to the Faculty’s Key Skills in Primary Dental Care distance learning modules, and a reviewer for the second edition of Standards in Dentistry and most recently the College’s Mentoring in Implant Dentistry: Good Practice Guidelines publication.

He has served on the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (1988-1997), as President of the Glasgow Odontological Society (1993-94), Council Member and President (2013-14) of the West of Scotland branch of the British Dental Association, and as a member of the Dental Council and Education Board of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, the General Dental Council’s Technical Advisory Committee on Continuing Assurance and the CPD Expert Advisory Group of the UK Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors. And over the past eighteen months, he has represented the College on a group which succeeded in persuading NHS England to reverse a recent change in its Record Keeping Code of Practice which had extended the retention period for dental records from eleven to fifteen years.

A Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, he has also been awarded the Certificate in Mentoring and Certificate in Practice Appraisal of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

The College Medal was formally presented to Dr Hadden at the CGDent Fellows’ Summer Reception, which was held in Cutlers’ Hall, London, on Thursday 15 June 2023.

Abhi Pal, President of the College, said:

“Andrew is an exceptional colleague who has made an extraordinary contribution to the College, former Faculty and the profession at large. His altruistic dedication of innumerable hours, decade on decade, has been of immeasurable benefit to dentistry and dental patients, and is an example to us all. The College Medal is the greatest honour we can give, and it is my immense pleasure and privilege to be able to confer upon Andrew this most deserved recognition of his commitment and achievements.”

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This article has been updated following the presentation of the award on 15 June 2023. The original was published on 17 May 2023 to announce the decision to award it.