The Qatar University (QU) on Sunday announced the launch of the country's first dental medicine college. Starting from September this year, the College of Dental Medicine will offer a six-year programme leading to the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine.
This is the 10th college of the university and the fourth under QU Health which includes health-related Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Health Sciences.
The College of Dental Medicine is expected to have an intake of 25 students annually, and 70% are expected to be Qatari high school applicants.
The launch of the new college was announced yesterday at a press conference by Dr Hassan al-Derham, QU president; Dr Egon Toft, vice president and founding dean, College of Medicine; Prof Johann de Vries, former CEO of Dental Services at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and consultant for the development of the proposal for the new college; and Dr Abdul Latif Mohamed al-Khal, deputy chief, Medical, Academic and Research Affairs, Medical Education, HMC and director of Clinical Affairs at QU Health.
The six-year programme will have a common First Year programme with all students at QU Health.Years 2 to 3.5 will have an integrated pre-clinical and clinical learning across disciplines including simulation training. Years 3.5 to 6 comprise final clinical phase to prepare competent students to provide dental care on graduation. No internship is required following graduation as it is embedded in the undergraduate training.
“We are setting up the new college to provide the community with the necessary medical competencies in this important discipline," Dr al-Derham said.
"We believe human development cannot happen without focusing on health and its different aspects: physical health, psychological health and mental health. For this reason, we established the health cluster in QU in 2017, to be an umbrella for the different schools, pharmacy, medicine, health sciences and finally now, dentistry.
“It is an important time to prepare a new generation of skilled Qatari doctors, who are connected with their community, the changes in society and economy, and the health requirements needed,” added Dr al-Derham.
Dr Toft noted that in close collaboration with HMC and the Primary Health Care Corporation, students will benefit from early clinical experience in state-of-the-art facilities including a dental simulation clinic and academic dental hospital at HMC, student-tailored elective studies, community-based education, and research possibilities, which are key elements of the curriculum.
"Subject-oriented learning, mainly during the common first year at QU Health, meets organ-centred modular teaching and clinical skills training, achieving a full integration of all relevant knowledge and skill domains,” he explained.
“The new college will be in direct response to meet the demand for dental and oral health care due to the comparatively high prevalence of oral disease in Qatar. The programme will address one of the main recommendations of the National Oral Health Roadmap, to “educate our own” dental workforce, and in the process provide a sustainable and self-sufficient solution for dental workforce. It will be a unique programme and a unique one even at the regional level,” Dr Toft added.
The college will follow international best-practice standards by accreditation agencies in the US, Australia, Europe and will closely collaborate with international accreditors to ensure compliance with high quality standards. Students admitted to the college will be eligible for sponsorship.