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Top dental student receives award at Royal College Diploma Ceremony

02 May 2024

The UK Dental Elective award was presented to Christy Phee by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, for her work to improve patient information on orthognathic surgery through the surgery-first approach.

Christy Phee, an undergraduate student at the University of Glasgow, has been presented with a UK Dental Elective Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. 

The award is given to students who have demonstrated excellence in an elective project or case report in their fourth year of study. Christy’s work focused on improving communications in orthognathic surgery by creating patient information leaflets on the ‘surgery-first’ approach.  

This relatively new concept enables surgery to be performed before orthodontic treatment speeding up the patient journey – but to date, there has been a lack of patient information materials to explain the approach. Christy said: “I had a great time formulating the leaflet over the course of my fourth year in dental school. Chatting with patients, attending surgeries, visiting the review clinic, listening to treatment plans being formulated – a very diverse range of activities were required to have enough information to compose the leaflet to best inform patients of the whole process.” 

The award was presented at a College diploma ceremony held on Tuesday 16 April by the Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, Professor Christine Goodall, who said “I am very proud to be presenting Christy with this award. It is a brilliant and well-earned start to what I know will be a wonderful career.  

“Reaching our patients on a personal level and providing reassurance has never been more important in dentistry. Christy’s project is a fantastic example of how improving communications can help remove barriers to dental services as they continue to evolve. I wish her all the best of luck for the next step in her journey.” 

Christy, who grew up in Holytown, Lanarkshire, has had a passion for dentistry since the age of seven. She recalls dentist appointments as an enjoyable and fascinating experience to share with her mother and sister in childhood. She adds that she later “endorsed this interest with a volume of work experience. It was something so different to the format of learning and work that school provided.”  

She began her dental degree at the University of Glasgow in 2018. Along with the technical aspects of the job, she enjoyed getting to know her patients while learning, and says providing her community with the best possible care remains her main motivation.  

Christy now plans to begin Vocational Training in Scotland following her graduation in June, and eventually progress to gain her MFDS qualification at the Royal College.  

Christy’s success follows that of Sara Gruffydd and Emma McAinsh who won the Dental Elective Award earlier this year. 

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