Portarlington dentist wins gold medal

First dentist in the Republic of Ireland to be awarded gold medal

An implant dentist from County Offaly has become the first dentist in the Republic of Ireland to be awarded the Diploma in Implant Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS (Eng)) at the advanced level.

Jerome Sullivan, who is the practice principal at Gracefield Family Dental Practice in Portarlington, also became the only dentist in the 10 years that the diploma has been run to be awarded a gold medal from the RCS (Eng) for the quality of his clinical cases. So much so that Professor Heiner Weber, who runs the German side of the diploma, took his clinical cases back to Germany to be used as templates for his postgraduate students.

Dr Sullivan said: “I had been placing dental implants for a couple of years under clinical mentoring and completed a number of certificate courses before I decided I wanted to deepen my knowledge of the subject and expand my clinical skill base. This led to my application for the Diploma in Implant Dentistry, run through the RCS (Eng).

“I had been forewarned that this prestigious course, although considered the best around, also had a very low pass rate of about 10 per cent. After three years of dedication and trips to London, as well as Frankfurt and Tubigen in Germany, my clinical cases were ready and I sat the final viva.”

And he explained that being awarded the inaugural gold medal was a proud moment. He said: “Considering the amount of clinicians that have embarked on the course, it is a very special achievement. Most of all, I hope it will inspire my children to work hard and achieve their dreams. One of my favourite quotes comes from Mark Twain, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I become.’”