Aberdeen dental students head to Shetland to gain valuable experience

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Dental students from Aberdeen are heading north to Shetland to gain valuable experience as part of a new pilot programme.

The first students, final year dentistry undergraduates, Ayesha Ahmad and Kelvin Onyinah, spent four days working at Montfield dental clinic in Lerwick starting from Monday 4th October.

The aim of the scheme is to provide valuable practical learning and training opportunities for final year students while also benefiting the local community.

During the four-day placement, the duo treated more than 40 patients. Every week, two different students will visit the practice.

The pilot scheme was launched by director of dentistry at NHS Shetland, Anthony Visocchi, who is also a clinical lecturer at the Institute of Dentistry in Aberdeen.

Mr Visocchi was concerned about students suffering as a result of the pandemic, as opportunities to work in practices and treat patients were limited. There were fears that dentistry students would not be able to graduate in December because they hadn’t fulfilled the necessary training requirements.

The pilot scheme provides opportunities for students to treat patients and gain essential experience in a clinical setting.

Mr Visocchi said that feedback from the team at Montfield dental clinic and the students has been incredibly positive and thanked everyone at the practice for being so welcoming and accommodating.

The project is currently a pilot but Mr Visocchi is keen to explore the possibility of providing training opportunities for students from Aberdeen in Shetland in the future.

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