As is traditional, the setting for the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) Annual Scientific Conference on 14-15 September was the home city of the Society's incoming President. So, this year BSPD members convened in Newcastle to share news, research and updates - and hear from the Society's President-elect, Professor Paula Waterhouse, on the importance of driving diversity and inclusion in dental institutes' curricula for graduates and postgraduates.
Professor Waterhouse's record of achievements includes nurturing generations of dental students and paediatric dentists, many of whom have now gone on to lead in their own areas.
Newcastle University's Director of Paediatric Dentistry, Professor Waterhouse, was due to take over the role of BSPD President 2023/4 from Dr Jenny Harris during the conference, which this year had the theme of 'Tipping the Scales - making a better and fairer world for children in the future'.
As well as her academic and teaching work, Professor Waterhouse has taken a leadership role in driving a refreshed curriculum perspective - that has anti-racism, diversity and inclusivity at the heart of its spirit and content. This is a direction which BSPD embraces and the Society's intention during her Presidential year is to support Paula's work to help other dental schools, associations and institutes planning to go through a similar process.
Professor Waterhouse said: 'We know that vulnerable children are bearing the brunt of health inequities in our country. Making sure from the outset that every piece of teaching content, every message and every image reflects the diversity of our patients is key. We must respect our broad national community to help the generations of vulnerable children to come to grow up supported by the good and fair paediatric oral health services they deserve. Unconscious bias is a barrier that paediatric dentistry must tackle - and I am delighted that BSPD will be taking on this challenge in earnest during my Presidential year.'
About this article
Cite this article
BSPD welcomes Dr Paula Waterhouse as President-elect. Br Dent J 235, 365 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-023-6353-0