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.
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