Association for Dental Education in Europe

Learning together to improve oral health and quality of life

An EDSA ADEE Collaboration Session 2

Wednesday, 9th June 2021 - 18:00 to 20:00
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120 minutes

Wellbeing and mental health
Burnout in dentistry
Session synopsis: 


As the World Health Organization has highlighted  through its Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)  one of the most neglected areas of public health is the mental health sector and is fundamentally one of the largest crises of the modern era. Close to 1billion people have a mental health disorder nowadays.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted the mental health of the global population  including dental professionals and students. Due to the workload, the competitive nature of dental schools and the transitioning to online learning students often experience symptoms of burnout syndrome.

Even though universities are offering a variety of new solutions to assist their students and their staff it's not uncommon for them to not acknowledge their symptoms because they simply don't know what is that they are experiencing and in that essence they are not seeking help.

Also, dental professionals when they are having burnout syndrome they feel that there is nothing that they can do to help themselves, even when that's not the case.

Although a lot of seminars have been organized about burnout syndrome, a change that is so much needed ,is yet to be seen.

Join us in this talk as we further elaborate on the topic while we discover what is the situation in some European countries and what role can education have.


Dr Owens Iguodala
Introduction to Webinar Series and Overview of talk agenda and how to interact


Introduction to Wellbeing, Burnout and Stress
Mr. Nikolaos Anastasiou


Study stress, burnout and physical complaints among dental students
Dr Ronald Gorter


Impact of Covid-19 on early career dental professionals
Dr Laura Beason; Dr Mariana De Araujo


‘Open Up’ - looking after patients’ mental health
Miss Emma Elliott


Resilience Training for Dental Students and Professionals
Dr Asha Thomson MBE

19:05 Panel Discussion and Q&A​
19:45 Closing Remarks
19:50 End
Learning Outcomes: 

Participation in the session will enable delegates to understand:

  • Understand what burnout syndrome is including common symptoms and risk factors.

  • Understand the impact online learning and  Covid-19 related social distancing has had on  mental health of students.

  • Introduce useful tools to support students and professionals with coping with poor mental health and burnout syndrome.

Call for Abstracts: 

None available for this session 


Owens Iguodala

Policy Officer 2020-2021 of EDSA (European Dental Students’ Association)

Owens Iguodala is the Policy Officer for EDSA leading on the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. He was born and grew up in Italy for the first 12 years of his life after which he moved to the UK with his family. In 2015 he graduated as a pharmacist from University College London. He then retrained as a dentist, graduating from the University of Aberdeen last June. He is currently undertaking a training post in Scotland.

Outside of his training, he is one of the Vice Presidents for Medic Mentor, leading some of the projects on widening access to medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences. He is also a Scholar of the Healthcare Leadership Academy, in the Amsterdam cohort.

Nikolaos Anastasiou

EDSA Dental Education Policy Team

Nikolaos Anastasiou is a 4th year dental student in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is an active member and the General Secretary of Thessaloniki's dental students association(Ο.ΦΟΙ.Σ.). Nikolaos is also an instructor of basic life support in the European Resuscitation Council. He has organized, participated and taught a lot of seminars on first aid. As a part of  the European Dental Students Association he is the former Greek national delegate and a member of 2020-2021 Policy team about Education. The topic of his interests are the mental health of dental students around Europe as well as the approach of dentists towards patients with mental disorders.

Dr Laura Beason

NHS Education for Scotland

Dr Laura Beaton is a researcher within the Dental Clinical Effectiveness workstream, part of NHS Education for Scotland. She is part of the TRiaDS research team, and her role primarily involves helping to support and evaluate the implementation of dental guidance produced by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP).

Recently, she has been involved with research to inform the development of SDCEP’s COVID-19 resources, and is part of the CAREER project, a research collaboration between NHS Education for Scotland, the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews, conducting a longitudinal study of uncertainties, anxieties and preparedness for practice in dental health professionals during the pandemic.

Laura has worked in the area of dental research since 2013 and has a background in Health Psychology, with a particular interest in health services research and behaviour change.

Dr Mariana Araujo

NHS Education for Scotland

Dr Mariana Araujo is a researcher within the Dental Clinical Effectiveness workstream, part of NHS Education for Scotland. She is part of TRiaDS (Translation Research in a Dental Setting) research team. She is part of the CAREER research group, a collaboration between NHS Education for Scotland, the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews. This project is being conducted using a longitudinal methodology to identify uncertainties, anxieties and preparedness for practice

in dental health professionals during the current pandemic. Dr Araujo has a dental background and has been working with dental research since 2015, with a particular interest in health services, paediatric dentistry, dental materials and dental education.

Miss Emma Elliott

Student, Barts and the London Dental School

Emma is a final year dental student at Barts and the London Dental School in the UK. During her studies she has developed a specific interest in patient mental health and how we, as trainee dentists, are educated in this topic. She has authored and led two publications in the BDJ, and is currently working on a series for Dental Update on the theme of psychiatry in dentistry. Patient mental health and its relationship to dentistry is under discussion despite the presentation being overly prevalent, she is hopeful her work shines a light on this important topic.

Dr Asha Thomson MBE

Dr Asha Thomson has a portfolio career within dentistry and is keen to highlight both within the profession and through health and social care that dentistry is not just about ‘teeth’.

Asha holds formal surgical, educational and leadership roles and is co-founder and current chair of M&E Dental Leadership Alumnus, co-founder of the Global Oral Health Collaborative and co-founder and co-host of the Under the Tooth podcast. Asha is also co-founder of the Dental Leadership Collaborative who have implemented a clinician led resilience programme for dental undergraduate students at Kings College, London during COVID-19. Asha has led and co-delivered workshops relating to clinical leadership at conferences such as the ‘Trailblazer’ conference hosted by the North West Deanery and the ‘Leadership and Innovation’ workshop at Midlands and East Dental Showcase and has presented more than 40 presentations internationally and nationally.


Within her current Senior Leadership Fellow Role with NHS England, Asha leads on regional change within the dental profession and supports the Local Dental Network Chairs within East of England on integrating the profession to improve patient outcomes through projects and initiatives such as Improving access to urgent dental care and oral health stabilisation and the Assistant Dentist Integrated Care Pilot Programme which has just been accepted for publication.

Asha received an MBE in the New Year's Honours in 2021 hopes to empower and motivate current and future generations of dentists to become ‘change makers’ within society. She aims to be a role model for females who aspire to be in surgical and/or leadership roles.

Dr Ronald Gorter

Editor in the European Journal of Dental Education 

Ronald C. Gorter, PhD, is a psychologist specialised in behavioural and educational aspects of dentistry. He earned his doctorate in Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and is associate professor with the department of Dental Educational Research / Oral Radiology of the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA). He teaches communication skills and behavioural aspects of working as a health professional to both dental students and graduated dentists. His research focuses on dentist - patient or staff communication, work stress, burnout, and educational developments in the dental curriculum. Dr Gorter is (co-)author of over eighty Dutch and international professional and scientific publications. He is Executive Member of the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE), member of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe, and is Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Dental Education.

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