Let's Talk Surgery: The RCSEd Podcast

Let's Talk Surgery Podcast, Surgical Crossroads: Choosing your specialty - the Maxillofacial surgery episode

October 03, 2021 Season 8 Episode 9
Let's Talk Surgery: The RCSEd Podcast
Let's Talk Surgery Podcast, Surgical Crossroads: Choosing your specialty - the Maxillofacial surgery episode
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In today's episode of our careers series we focus on oral and maxillofacial surgery with a panel of Manchester-based guests.

Sajid Sainuddin is a consultant maxillofacial surgeon with a special interest in oncology and reconstruction. He began his career by training to be a dentist, before joining a craniofacial centre in his home country of India. After moving to the UK, he worked in Oxford and the support he received from consultants there was pivotal in his decision to pursue maxillofacial surgery as a career. He moved to Cardiff on a 4-year graduate entry programme, however as an international student funding his own tuition fees, he continued working in Oxford and travelled between the 2 cities to study and work. Most of Sajid’s job involves operating on head and neck cancer patients, including reconstructive work, with operations taking 10-16 hours. He describes the importance of teamwork during these long procedures and the fantastic learning opportunities they provide.

We also speak to Mary Coleman, an ST6 in OMFS. She completed her dental degree at Trinity College Dublin in 2007 and worked as a house officer at the Dublin Dental Hospital and in general dental practice in Ireland and Australia. She then worked in Oxford in a LAS Dental foundation job before covering maternity leave as an OMFS SpRs. She was inspired by the challenges of working in the hospital with a big team around her and the chance to learn something new every day, so she returned to Dublin to do a 3-year medical degree. Like Sajid, she commuted between there and Oxford for on-calls, as well as supplementing her income with OMFS locums in Dublin and a small amount of dental practice. After qualifying in medicine, she completed her intern year and core training in Dublin, before taking up an SpR training position in Manchester, where she still remains. 

Our medical student this episode is Aysha Nijamudeen. Aysha’s personal experience of maxillofacial surgery as an orthognathic surgery patient played a key part in her choice of career. She is currently in her final year at the University of Manchester, on the 3-year course specifically for dentists pursuing a career in OMFS. Prior to medical school, she obtained degrees in medical science from the University of Leeds, and dentistry from Newcastle University. She then worked in OMFS as a senior house officer at Sunderland Royal Hospital. She works part- time in OMFS to fund her studies and maintain her portfolio for a future speciality training application. Aysha is enjoying gaining experience in the various sub-specialities and learning more about the different surgical techniques and technology involved in treating OMFS patients.

Pursuing a career in maxillofacial surgery is a long process which requires dedication and commitment. Our panel are passionate about the variety of sub-specialisation and learning opportunities on offer, and they emphasise the unique family feel of the specialty, which they describe as key to their continued commitment and success. 

Contact Information
Visit https://www.rcsed.ac.uk/ for further information and details on becoming a member. 

Email: [email protected] for any questions or topic suggestions you may have for future episodes. 

This show is brought to you by the RCSEd. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. Hosted by Greg Ekatah, Sesi Hotonu and Sadie Khwaja produced and directed by Heather Pownall of Heather's Media Hub Ltd

Introduction to the topic and guests
[Greg Ekatah – Mary Coleman] Talk us through some of the pathways through which people can get into maxillofacial surgery as a career choice.
[GE – MC] What made you think to yourself, I am going to go around and do medicine again and then go through the five year or seven year training programme of Max Facs, what was your inspiration at the time?
[GE – MC] What were some of the challenges that you faced in terms of the process going from dentistry to medicine and then through that process?
[GE – MC] How competitive is applying for a post in OMFS? What are some of the key things that one should look out to make sure they have prior to doing that?
[GE – Aysha Nijamudeen] Anything to add to that in terms of the application process?
[GE – MC] How common is it to go out of programme for research and other out of programme experiences?
[GE – MC] Now you’re a registrar, you're coming towards the end of your training, what's life like on a day-to-day basis, week-to-week basis, on-call; what are some of the highlights of being an OMFS registrar?
[GE – MC] What's the one not so good thing about max facs surgery. And what is your favourite max facs operation?
[Sadie Khwaja – Sajid Sainuddin] Head neck surgeon for ENT obviously means head and neck surgery oncology. So how do we separate; or do we separate or are we all one? How would you define head and neck surgery surgeon in max facs?
[SK – SS] So Aysha's ready to start her training programme. How would you advise her considering she can go down an ENT [or any other] route. Why max facs at that point rather than ENT, if, say, she wants to be a head and neck surgeon?
[SK – SS] There is lots of sub specialty of max facs, and you did mention a few of them. But if we can just cover what that range is.
[SK – SS] Do you have paediatric or is paediatric separate?
[SK – SS] What's the day-to-day like for you? What's your week like?
[SK – SS] Let's just talk about your journey then. Where did it start?
[Sesi Hotonu – SS] Is there any funding available to trainees who want to get their other degree, either medicine or dentistry, or are most trainees self-funded?
[SK – SS] You know if you're going to spend that much money you want job at the end of it, don't you; but then also what's the competition like?
[SK – AN] I presume there's a max facs society? How are you promoting max facs?
[SH – AN] Hearing all these things that Mary and Sajid Sainuddin are saying does it make you more inspired or just more tired hearing about it?
[SH – AN] Can you take us through what led you to dentistry and then to medicine and then max facs? And also, if you wouldn't mind elaborating on the little bits of clinical experience you had between, that I think you alluded to before.
[SH – All] How do you keep up to date with your skills? You have both dental and medical skills and surgical skills to keep fresh… how do you keep all those balls in the air?
[SH – AN] If you don't mind me asking, do you have a family and how does that fit in with all of this? And with your medical school, are you self-funded? Or did you get funding from somewhere to help with this?
[SK – MC] I'm seeing more female max facs registrars; I don't know what the ratio is Mary, do you know?
[All] Summary: Nurturing community / family; max facs as an apprenticeship; different pathways – continuous learning; a rewarding specialty.
[SK – All] Why don’t you pick your favourite instrument?