Dr Iseult Bouarroudj

For this edition we spoke to Dr Iseult Bouarroudj, who works with the HSE in Longford/Westmeath, and is a HSE Committee member and former HSE Group President.

What led you to first get involved in the IDA?
Dr Bridget Harrington-Barry, who used to work here in the Midlands, got me interested, so I went along and eventually served on the HSE Committee. That must be at least 10 years ago now.

How did your involvement progress?
I’ve served on the Committee a number of times over the years, and am currently a Committee member again. When I was asked to be President in 2013 I was absolutely delighted, and at the same time really daunted, because at the start when you chair meetings and organise events, you don’t necessarily have those skills – you have to learn. But I loved organising the conference, choosing speakers and all of that. I also sit on the Council of the IDA and am a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Irish Dental Association.

What has your involvement in the IDA meant to you?
My initial involvement was during the good times, and we didn’t have much to complain about! But as things got tighter and the recession really hit, then there were more pressing issues. For example, a major issue at the moment is the lack of access to general anaesthetic. You have to be as proactive as possible to have any influence on these issues, and that’s something that we have to take upon ourselves as a profession. Having a voice together is really important and that’s why I think the Committee is really important, especially for us in the HSE.

What has been the single biggest benefit of IDA membership for you?
I can’t tell you how much it has meant for me on a personal level. I’ve come out of my shell from it. It’s so inclusive that I can feel comfortable going to events on my own. I meet so many different people from so many disciplines within the profession and I’ve found that in itself is hugely beneficial because you can ask for advice on cases. I’m so happy I did it. I’ve the utmost respect for everybody in the Association. I think it’s a wonderful Association.

How would you like to see the Association progress into the future?
The Association is so much more advanced than a lot of others. We have put new governance structures in place in the last three or four years, and I think as an organisation it’s extremely well run.
We also need to continue to build membership. I think the more people get connected [to the IDA] the more they will get involved, but sometimes it can be a vicious circle: ‘I don’t know anybody at the meeting so I’m not going to go’. But we have to say to people: ‘don’t let that put you off’. You get out of it what you put into it, like with anything. Go to events and make that bit of time.

Iseult went straight from college to the HSE, and has worked in the Public Dental Service for 15 years. She is based in Mullingar but works in different clinics on different days, depending on need. In addition to this busy job, which she loves, she has three young sons. Iseult also has a passion for music, and is currently recording an album.