Undertaking MFDS after BDS - By Dr Manisha Mathi

Undertaking MFDS after BDS - By Dr Manisha Mathi

If you’re thinking about further qualifications after completing your dental degree, the likelihood is the MFDS (Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery) diploma will be on your radar. Not only does it help with career progression, allowing you to stand out from others, you’ll also get those MFDS letters after your name, and who doesn’t want that!

We caught up with Dr Manisha Mathi who gave us her insight into the exam, what to expect and why you may want to do it.

History

So I completed Part 1 (MJDF) in April 2019 and Part 2 (MFDS) in March 2020. The MJDF is no longer available as an exam and the MFDS has since replaced it. I did my MFDS exam with the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh (in London) and therefore my qualification is: MFDS (RCS Ed).

 

MFDS RCS England

MFDS RCS Edinburgh

MFDS RCS Glasgow

Part 1

150 single best answer (SBA) questions – equally weighted. The exam is not negatively marked. 

180 single best answer (SBA) questions – equally weighted. The exam is not negatively marked. 3-hour duration.

180 single best answer (SBA) questions – equally weighted. The exam is not negatively marked. 3-hour duration.

Part 2

Structured Clinical Examinations (14 stations, 11 (3 preparatory). Mainly assess communication skills, clinical skills and clinical reasoning skills.

Structured Clinical Examinations (10 stations). History taking, managing patient concerns, explanations of special investigations and treatment planning. 

Structured Clinical Examinations (10 stations). History taking, managing patient concerns, explanations of special investigations and treatment planning. 

Cost

£535 (Part 1), £672 (Part 2)

£540 (Part 1), £730 (Part 2)

£540 (Part 1), £730 (Part 2)

Why do it?

Post-graduate qualifications after dental school are important to help make you stand out in your future career. If you are thinking about applying to specialty training through a hospital pathway, doing the MFDS exam is a no-brainer! On the application, you gain extra points for post-graduate qualifications, as well as audits, presentations and publications. Specialty training is extremely competitive, so it’s important to do everything you can to shine! Even if you are unsure if specialty training is for you, post-graduate qualifications when applying for associate roles also make you a more attractive candidate. You may also have a change-of-heart and decide a few years into your career that you want to apply for specialty training, and you’ll thank your younger self for doing these exams soon after graduating!

Is it difficult?

The knowledge required to pass the exams are not much more than the final year of dental school. The closer you complete it after graduating, the easier I would say it is. You know how to prepare for exams and are already in a routine of doing so. Practice makes perfect - there are many past papers circulating and a lot of the questions do get repeated – so practice, practice, practice! For Part 2, get together with colleagues/friends and go through scenarios with other people to ensure you are confident on the day.  

Other Important Things to Note:

  • You can only sit Part 2 after 12 months of experience in clinical dentistry
  • You have to complete Part 2 of the exam within five years of completing Part 1
  • You have to pay an Annual Retention Fee (ARF) to keep the letters after your name
  • You can sit the exams through the Royal College of Surgeons (England, Edinburgh and Glasgow) but locations can vary and be in London, Manchester and Edinburgh for example – each college has their own website so make sure you do your research!

Good luck!

Thank you Manisha for your contribution – The Next Step team