Women’s History Month Profiles – Dr Carla Fleming

To celebrate Women’s History Month, Naomi Douglas and Chloe Poole (UBDSS), in collaboration with the ED&I Committee, asked some of our female staff to reflect on their careers, achievements, inspirations, and challenges they’ve overcome. This is just a small portion of the inspiring women that we work with at Bristol Dental School.

The next in our series is Dr Carla Fleming.

What advice would you give your dental student/younger self?
Enjoy every moment of being a student and have fun, you’ll look back on those precious days fondly. Also take photos – you’ll want to bring them out when you turn 40, and again at 50!

What’s the greatest achievement of your career so far?
Being appointed as a Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Oral Surgery. There were times where I thought I couldn’t complete specialty training whilst raising 2 young children but the hard work eventually paid off. And my kids are turning out okay too!

Which women have inspired you in your career?
There are not many female Senior Lecturer / Honorary Consultants in Oral Surgery around however there are several female consultants in other dental specialties at Bristol Dental Hospital who inspire me. I really value women who show strength and resilience with difficult decisions at the same time as being friendly and approachable to all who cross their path.

What have been the biggest challenges or triumphs for you during the pandemic? (at work or personally)
Challenges – as a team leader maintaining good spirits in the staff at work who have been affected by the pandemic in various ways. Also adapting to the sudden changes in the way we work and treat patients was a shock to the system for everyone. Oh, and homeschooling…eeek!
Triumphs – seeing that I work in a fantastic team in Oral Surgery where staff really care about patients, students and colleagues. Also, helping to teach my 4 year old daughter how to read!

If you’d like to contribute to this blog series, simply email your answers (and an image of yourself) to ords-swan@bristol.ac.uk.

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