The annual 'So you want to be an orthodontist' event was held at the British Orthodontic Society's (BOS') headquarters in Central London on 25 November 2022.

figure 1

The meeting was organised by the BOS Trainee Grades Group and involved an engaging course of speakers throughout the day who are at different stages of their career. There were roughly 30 delegates keen to apply for specialty training. They were inquisitive about the application process as well as the career itself.

The day started with two specialty trainee registrars, both in second year training, speaking about the national recruitment process. It was insightful to note the rigorous process from a candidate's perspective. Mr Joshua Layton and Ms Lorna Hirst outlined their personal journeys to specialty training and the application form. The trainees on the self-assessment form and the type of evidence to start collating in this regard.

An overview of the specialist training process was highlighted by Ms Safoora Keshtgar, who spoke about vigorous yet exciting aspects of the training. Ms Keshtgar spoke about her own specialist training experience as well as her new journey in her post-CCST training.

Ms Asma Keshtgar followed with a discussion on post-CCST training. This presentation gave a good overview of the hospital training post and the complexities of cases treated. The intricate planning that goes into the management of patients and potential diversity of cases fascinated me.

Due to the number of highly motivated candidates applying, a further talk was given on CV building for specialty training by Mr Matt Chia. He gave tips on how to build a robust CV which would showcase one's credentials to impress interviewers. This was also followed by an overview of life as a consultant, as an orthodontist practising in a hospital setting, with a number of examples of cases given.

In continuation, Ms Ritu Connor discussed her own experience as a specialist in practice, working in a hospital setting and the teaching opportunities she had been given. This was particularly helpful, as I was unaware of the different pathways in orthodontics and the freedom to explore different avenues.

Professor Martyn Cobourne gave an insight to the orthodontic training programme and the various elements of academia as well as clinical work involved. He noted the change that may be occurring with the previous compulsory research component of the process and the future of orthodontics.

It was important for us to understand the recruitment process from the perspective of a consultant orthodontist, provided by Ms Anjali Sharma. She discussed the main changes in this year's national recruitment process. The main change discussed was the overall candidate score will only be based on the interview with the self-assessment form only helping you to be shortlisted for an interview.

The day concluded with numerous round table discussions. This involved a small group setting with existing and past specialist trainees. This was a relaxed talk which gave us time to ask pertinent questions with the trainees showing their own self-assessment forms. This helped us truly establish what is expected of us at the time of application.

Altogether, this day was a brilliant overview of what a career in orthodontics would involve as well as the competitive nature of the recruitment process. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone interested in specialist orthodontic training.

I would also like to thank the TGG committee representatives, Ms Asma Keshtgar, Mr Ian Murphy, Mr Robert Conville and Mr Mo Hania for organising this great day for us.