EFP announces winners of undergraduate essay competition
Essay competition winners, from top: Emily Davison, Michaela Eklund, Natasha West
The EFP has announced the winners of its first undergraduate essay competition, in which contestants were asked to write short essays on the topic “Why I would consider a career in periodontology.”
The three winners, who each receive free registration for EuroPerio9 (Amsterdam, 20-23 June) plus €250 to offset travel costs and a certificate of award, were:
- Emily Davison, a fourth-year dental student from Glasgow, UK;
- Michaela Eklund, a third-year dental student from Umea, Sweden;
- Natasha West, a second-year dental student from Cardiff, UK.
In her essay, Emily Davidson wrote: “I feel lucky to have started dentistry at a time where periodontology is such a dynamic, ever-evolving field and aspire to do a PhD post-graduation, pursuing a career combining academic and clinical periodontology.”
For Michaela Eklund, “Periodontal disease affects quality of life, and the more severe the disease the greater the impact on life quality […] What if my work as a dentist could make a difference? What if I could help the patients I meet to improve their quality of life? That is why I would consider a career in periodontology.”
Natasha West wrote: “There is growing awareness of periodontology amongst my peers, due to an overriding expectation that we will maintain our natural teeth, yet periodontitis remains a major cause of adult tooth loss worldwide [...] I would like a career in periodontology to influence policy and heighten awareness of periodontitis across all generations and socioeconomic backgrounds to improve population-wide health.”
The three winning essays have been published on the EFP website.
Entries from 20 countries
Overall, there were 77 submissions – 73 from dental students and four from dental hygiene/therapy students. Women were very much in the majority, accounting for 56 of the entries.
The dental students who submitted essays are studying at 42 dental schools in 20 different countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, and the UK.
The submissions from dental hygiene/therapy students came from three dental-hygiene schools in Denmark and the UK.
The essays were marked by members of the EFP Undergraduate Education Committee, according to three criteria:
- Demonstration of understanding and imagination of the options and opportunities offered by a career in periodontology;
- Quality of the writing, while allowing that English will not be the first language of all students;
- Use (and correct citation) of references to support the concepts considered in the essay.
“The standard of the entries was extremely high, and the judging panel really enjoyed reading the essays,” said Philip Preshaw, chair of the EFP undergraduate education committee. “It was great to feel the enthusiasm for periodontology coming from so many students across Europe.”
Prof Preshaw offered his thanks to the work of the other members of the judging panel, Mervi Gursoy, Rok Gaspersic, Asaf Wilensky, and Andreas Stavropoulos. “It was a big job to do it, but it was also very enjoyable,” he said.