Celebrating 100 years of women dental professionals


Gill Cottamg c

Where did you qualify and when?     Birmingham BDS (Hons) Dec 1978

What attracted you to dentistry?

Childhood dream, unrecognised expectation of equality, opportunity, reward and exposure to a female Dentist named Dr Ruth Yearn from 3 years of age.

What are your current responsibilities in the profession?

Specialist in Orthodontics, Part time Lecturer in Orthodontic, Active Committee member (LDC), Visionary, leader, teacher, Role model, Inspirational employer.

Gills’ dental story

I have always benefitted from a privileged education, superb surgical training on qualifying with expectation and encouragement to sit Fellowship Examinations, necessary for entry to specialist Training. I set up my Orthodontic Practice whilst working as a Locum Consultant in Orthodontics, in six midland Hospitals. A car rear “shunt “whilst stationary caused a whiplash injury – which made me re-evaluate and accept a Clinical Research Fellowship in Toronto, with exposure to inspirational, world famous figures and the opportunity to meet, mix and work with many international colleagues. This taught me that the world is a small place. Many, very kind people gave me the opportunity to really shine and life-long friendships were formed. Love brought me back to the UK, after commuting to maintain my Orthodontic practice. Clinical Research rewarded me with the Belle Maudesley Memorial Prize, presented at the British Orthodontic Conference in 1990 – 10 weeks after my second daughter was born. Clinical teaching has been my passion. Colleagues, dentists, with an interest in Orthodontics, students, nurses, technicians, orthodontic therapists, apprentices, parents, patients, and friends. My mother travelled to many American Association of Orthodontist meetings with me, including the 1995 World Orthodontic conference in San Franscisco – to look after our 9 week old third daughter. When there I became a founder member of the World federation of Orthodontists. The British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis (now called the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis)

opened up new horizons and the opportunity to achieve the advanced Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis and Stress management. The Deanery kindly sponsored a Bursary for a PG Certificate in Education for Health care professionals, another privileged experience.

As a key opinion leader, member of the Align Advisory Board and the Invisalign Academy I have been humbled that my opinion has been sought, heard, suggestions implemented and given the opportunity to lead study clubs and present the keynote lecture at the National forum in London 2016. There I was presented with an award for treating 1000 cases. Webinars for the International TIO group have been flatteringly well received and enabled interaction with colleagues as far away as Sydney and Adelaide, whilst presenting from Lanzarote!

I have been blessed with loyal staff, students who excel, a happy marriage, three beautiful, independently successful daughters and a continuing passion for my profession. My mother said: ”if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life “– and I think mum was right.

What has been your most memorable achievement in the profession?

Fellowship in dental Surgery - Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh by 2 part examination – within 3 years of qualifying (at the time – it should not have been awarded within 3 years of qualifying), Special Service Award British Orthodontic Society

What advice would you give your younger self on qualifying?

Know yourself- keep smiling, be the very best you can be, excellence becomes a habit.

Which of your mentors have influenced you the most?

Mr Michael Wake, Maxillo facial Surgeon, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Dr Bruce Ross, Facial Centre Hospital for Sick Kids Toronto Canada, Dr Alison Howat, Consultant Orthodontist, peer, role model, friend, God, Mother - inspiration, travelling companion and honest critic.

How have you used mentoring throughout your career?

Self-awareness, reflection, goal setting, vision, inspiration, work life balance, revision, encouragement, bereavement counselling, career planning, estate planning, retirement planning, lecturing and teaching

Who We Are:

Dental Mentors UK is run by two experienced dental mentors.
We are:

We believe that all dental professionals would benefit from regularly working with a mentor from a personal as well as a professional point of view. Mentors are experienced dental professionals who can guide and support you throughout your career.

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