Professor Sally Hanks
Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
Peninsula Dental School (Faculty of Health)
Associate Head of School, Teaching and Learning, Peninsula Dental School
The next five-year phase saw my clinical career develop by working with special care patients and furthering my interest and expertise in behavioural management strategies. I gained my Advanced Diploma in Hypnosis and Stress Management from the University of Stafford in 2010.
Before joining Peninsula I was a Restorative Clinical Lecturer at Bristol Dental School. At Peninsula I quickly progressed to Final Year Lead, lead for professionalism and gained my Post-Graduate Certificate of Academic Practice. I was awarded my PhD in medical education related to leadership in primary care dental practice. Underpinned by a social constructivist approach, using traditional ethnography and innovative video reflexive ethnography methods and Activity Theory as the theoretical lens for analysis, the final 'Hanks framework' is a conceptual framework of leadership for dentists that has been grounded in primary care practice.
My interest in patient- and student-centred education influences my approach to ongoing research projects and teaching. I continue creating, developing and delivering innovative curriculum activities and Continuing Professional Development opportunities for undergraduate and post-graduate students, and qualified dentists, to ensure initial preparedness for practice, along with ongoing life long development.
I developed and led the first undergraduate dentistry humanities module, developed the patient feedback strategy for the school, and set up our student voice (feedback) strategy. My motivation is to inspire and embed inclusivity and humanity into education and healthcare.
BDS PhD PFHEA PGCAP BSCAH Adv Dip (Accred) FDTFEd
I am head of teaching and learning at Peninsula School of Dentistry University of Plymouth.
My particular clinical interest is in patient-centred care and behavioural management for patients with special needs and those who have a fear of the dentist. I use clinical hypnosis and its philosophy to underpin all of my work. My education interest is in leadership and personal and professional development to enable individuals to be the best they can be through the use of best practice, innovative and inclusive teaching, learning and assessment activities, as well as one-to-one development support. Communication plays a vital role in all of these areas, and my overarching interests are communication, leadership, coaching techniques, development of capability, professionalism and how to provide holistic and personalised care/education/support.
I have been awarded the prestigious Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and am Fellow of the Faculty of Dental Trainers of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.
I set up and was inaugural chair of the UK Council of the Dental Teachers of Professionalism - the home for the education of professionalism across dental education for undergraduate and postgraduate institutions and have been invited onto the Steering Group for the the ADEE Professionalism Community of Practice.
Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)
Faculty of Dental Trainers Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh
SRHE (Society for Research in higher Education)
AMEE (Association of Medical Education in Europe)
ADEE (association of Dental Education in Europe)
BSCAH (Accred) (British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis)
Roles on external bodies
Dental School Council Education Leads Committee.
La Trobe Rural Health School Course Advisory Committee Dental and Oral Healthcare programmes, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.
Founder and founding chair: UK Council for the Dental Teachers of ProfessionalismTutor for number of regional and national groups (including DFT, British Association of Oral Surgeons) on subject of communication, medical hypnosis and behavioural management of the anxious patient
Book proposal reviewer for Oxford University Press & Wiley
The use of Health Humanities, integrative and inter-professional education to promote development of communication, empathy, team working, self awareness, emotional intelligence and self-development in healthcare students across a range of disciplines for the benefit of patient care. While the humanities are widely used in medical education they are less evident within dental education. In developing inter professional learning opportunities for dental undergraduates in Peninsula, I work with colleagues across the Faculty of Health and Arts and Humanities to develop such opportunities.
Additional teaching expertise:
Education and Curriculum development
Leadership in Dentistry
Teamworking and management of the dysfunctional team
Hypnosis and Stress Management
Non pharmacological treatment of anxious patients
Personal and professional development planning
Professionalism and performance (including Fitness to Practise)
Feedback:Assessment and the Student Voice
Managing patient expectations
Staff serving as external examiners
University of Liverpool 2nd BDS Clinical Readiness Exam and the new centennial Curriculum.
I am particularly interested in undertaking robust qualitative research and my main areas of focus are leadership, capability and professionalism. All these areas are related to supporting students to be prepared for, and to continually develop and strive for excellence in, the ‘real world’ of their chosen clinical field.
I am also interested in clinical translational or regulatory research that informs or influences education directly.
GDC funded: Unlocking the potential of GDC Fitness to Practise data
Locally funded: Exploration of barriers, facilitators and enablers influencing recruitment and retention of dentists to South West England
SIF funded: The Digital Dimensions of Affective Intelligence in Clinical Care and Clinical Training
PhD supervised projects: Understanding how people interpret and respond to uncertainties in oral health-related information – An exploratory study among selected multi-ethnic groups of Malaysia; Evaluating the function of ACE2 in oral tissues associated COVID-19 infection
National Collaborations HEE funded: Ensuring a continuum approach to dental education (Peninsula, Liverpool and Newcastle)
Recently completed research:
GDC funded: Review and mapping of basic dental training in EU member states final report available
SIF funded: Enhancing the acquisition of soft skills, sensitivity and anticipation in training clinical dentists through video ethnographic methods. How we can prepare and sensitise clinical dentists to anticipate discomfort and the unexpected in their practice?
Interdisciplinary project: audio diaries to explore transformative learning through social engagement
PhD: Deconstructing, contextualising and assessing management and leadership criteria for dental professionals: an ethnographic study of principles in practice
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
MSc Supervisor: An exploratory study investigating the effects of online human factors training on medical students’ behaviour in a peripheral intravenous cannulation hybrid simulation (successful supervision to completion with merit)
Clinical advisor PhD: Plasticiser Phthalates, Endocrine Disrupters and Composite Breakdown Materials in Dental Patients. Successful completion 2017
Grants & contracts
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Joint GDC, Dental Schools' Council & Dental Teacher's of Professionalism conference: Developing a common approach to Student Fitness to Practise. 29th January 2020. QMUL, London
BSCAH Annual Conference 2020 . Think it possible that you may be mistaken? Challenging assumptions & developing new ideas. Dartington Hall, Devon POSTPONED DUE TO COVID 19 until SUMMER 2021
- Failing to Fail.
- What do you mean I'm not excellent?: coping with student responses to feedback
- Encouraging learning in the clinical environment
- Giving feedback in the clinical environment: flipping the COIN