After a relatively brief period of time working in dental practice Dr James Field found himself being drawn back to the university environment looking for opportunities to tutor, mentor, deliver small group teaching, and occasionally, speak at larger events. It became clear that althought he wasn’t sure about where he wanted to be, he knew he wanted to teach.
As he became more exposed to the academic environment, he began to realise what it was that he enjoyed so much and that was being directly involved in students’ learning journeys. Being able to guide and support them as they transitioned from school-leavers, to autonomous health-care professionals.
He works as a Senior Clinical Teacher. As a dental clinical educator, he is faced with the unique challenge of providing a quality teaching experience for students whilst, at the same time, ensuring quality of care and appropriate levels of service provision (treatment). His areas of expertise are the practical and pedagogic aspects of teaching clinical skills, and curriculum review and development.
Impact of work
James has published textbooks and papers relating to pre-clinical dental skills, and leads a pan-European curriculum taskforce for Dentistry. Leading the taskforce means that he now represents the UK in consultations with the Council of European Dentists, in Brussels, in order to establish a new EU directive for Dental Education.
Nationally his teaching excellence, continued professional development and strategic support for others was recognised by Principal Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy. He was also privileged enough to be recognised with Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Educators and Fellowship of the Faculty of Dental Trainers at the Royal College of Surgeons.
Plans for the future
Internationally, his positive impact on the student learning experience was recognised by the Association of Dental Education in Europe’s International Educator Award. These networks offer access to an incredibly rich professional community across a range of disciplines. He has found that there are areas of his professional practice are benefitting greatly not just in terms of his own development, but in his ability to support, mentor and lead teaching teams.
Senior Clinical Teacher in Restorative Dentistry
University of Sheffield