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What's it like being an... associate dentist in the Scottish Highlands? Jane Patterson

Blog Author Jane Patterson

Blog Date 23/07/2019

Jane Patterson is an associate dentist working in a mixed practice in Inverness. She has a passion for lifeboats and dogs…


Jane Patterson and a dog

My alarm goes off….

Depends on the day of the week! Some mornings it's into the garage to train on my bicycle, other mornings it's taking the dog for a walk...a very reluctant dog if it's raining!

I'm responsible for…

I'm an associate dentist at Torwood Dental Practice (Clyde Munro) in Inverness doing a mixture of NHS and private dentistry. In the last twelve months I've also started providing some facial aesthetics and orthodontic treatments.

I got the job

I'm originally from County Down in Northern Ireland. After studying dentistry at the fantastic University of Glasgow I took a vocational training (VT) position at my practice and I've been there ever since...

I think it was my accent and 'craic' that got me the invitation to stay after VT! I was delighted to be kept on as I love the practice, the patients and all the outdoor activities the Scottish Highlands has to offer. 

Shortly after vocational training, I completed my MFDS at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow and I'm just about to finish my PG Cert in Restorative Dentistry.


My typical day

Jane Patterson dressed in lifeguard suit


Most of my days are pretty typical, I get a lovely mix of patients through the door and I've been at the practice long enough now that the wee kiddies have become teenagers!

But sometimes with a few beeps of my pager a typical day can go right out the window.

I have the privilege of being full-time volunteer crew member for the Kessock RNLI Lifeboat and you never know when the pager is going to go.

My mum's from a fishing village and we grew up in awe of the lifeboat volunteers, their bravery and dedication to serve the community in all weathers, so it is something I've always been passionate about.

I'm so grateful to Clyde Munro for supporting me with my career and my volunteer work. 

The support from the patients has also been overwhelming too, they always want an update on lifeboat life, and I see them at every lifeboat event rain hail or shine!

At our last fundraising car wash in nearly every car there was a patient waving through the bubbles at me in support - I have to admit I got a bit emotional at the end of that day!


The best part of my job…

I love my job for so many reasons! 

I work with an incredible team, in particular my nurses Dana and Hannah - I couldn't do it without them.

I've got a great group of patients at the practice and we have a lot of laughs at appointments which is just everything to me. 


What's your biggest achievement to date?

Jane Patterson with her Young Dentist of the Year award


This year I won the Young Dentist of the Year Award at the Scottish Dental Awards. It was a brilliant evening, so lovely to be recognised, but and again I wouldn't have won it without the fantastic team around me. 


After work…

Does sleeping count as a hobby?! When I'm not training with the lifeboat I spend my time walking my cocker spaniel Skye, training for long distance triathlons and eating cakes.


My Plan B

If you had asked me this when I was little I'd have said vet but anything even the tiniest bit sad when it comes to animals makes me cry my eyes out.

Now I'd have to say dog walker! I love dogs and the highlands has so many fantastic places to walk and explore. 

Jane Patterson, associate dentist



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