Women’s History Month Profiles – Dr Anna Dargue

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 last profile of this year’s series is Dr Anna Dargue.

What advice would you give your dental student/younger self?
Not to doubt myself, but have confidence in my abilities – this still gets me now sometimes and I give myself a good talking to.

What’s the greatest achievement of your career so far?
I think completing my MSc in medical education alongside organising a successful national Oral Surgery conference. It was a tricky time and I felt really stretched as my Dad was terminally ill and I was juggling seeing him every weekend as well as being a mum and wife and doing my day job at BDH. I couldn’t have managed all this without a supportive husband/family and good time-management skills.

Which women have inspired you in your career?
Annabel Wheatley – she was a senior SHO (DCT-equivalent now) when I did my first SHO job. She was wonderfully supportive in my first weeks/months when I felt hugely inexperienced in my first hospital post.
Pippa Blacklock – BAOS (British Association of Oral Surgeons) council member. She persuaded me to do the regional rep role for BAOS and then stand for Council. She is a great leader for Oral Surgery nationally and she’s a great advocate for those around her.
Eithne Fyfe – my colleague at BDH. She’s an excellent clinician, a lovely person and a role model for me in how to deal with the competing demands of a successful career as well as raising children.

What have been the biggest challenges or triumphs for you during the pandemic? (at work or personally)
Coping with home-schooling children and the perpetually changing situation at work. I think the Dental Hospital’s staff and students have shown great resilience in rising to the many challenges of the pandemic.

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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