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Get to Know your LDC Director – Dharmen Patel

Tell us a little about yourself

I started my dental career after graduating from Cardiff in 2005. I stayed on and completed my general professional training in oral surgery and was fortunate to have some great mentors. This shaped my future career and I decided I wanted a practice with some element of oral surgery and to teach younger dentists. This led to an MClinDent in Implantology and being a foundation trainer for over 12 years before stopping in 2020. I now split my time between 2 practices in south east and south west London.

How did you first get involved in the LDC?

I attended my first LDC meeting as a guest as a young dentist. It was interesting to see the other side so I joined the Committee and over the years became Secretary, Chair and then eventually Director.

What has been a highlight for you so far of being involved in your LDC?

The daily small wins that never get highlighted. Dentists will generally contact us if there is a problem and it’s a great feeling to be able to let them know they are not alone and we can often help.

Dharmen Patel

What skills have you developed as a result of your involvement with the LDC?

Too many to list! Knowledge, experience of dealing with NHS issues, communication, resilience, professional speaking, it goes on.

How do you see yourself applying the skills you’ve developed at your LDC in your wider life and career?

The skills I have learnt will stand me in good stead in the mentorship role I have in both my personal and professional life. They will also help me to deal with whatever life throws my way in the future.

What would you say to colleagues who are interested but hesitant to get involved in the LDC?

Dive straight in, there are no pre-requirements for joining and you will learn much along the way. Remember the LDC is there for colleagues, don’t miss the opportunity to join and have your say!

If LDCs didn’t exist what would that mean for the profession?

That would be extremely detrimental for the profession. The LDC is the only organisation which represents day to day dentists. Without that voice, the profession would simply be unheard.

What do you do to relax outside of dentistry?

Live the life I’ve been given!