I write blogs on student centered dental education. If you want to subscribe to email alerts for new content, click here. All blog posts available here.

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Dental education to become a dentist is offered only in the National University of Singapore for the city-state.   There is good competition and only the academically strong candidates stand a chance. The goal of the school is to train adequately in becoming general dentists who can learn forever. The objectives are quite standard to other international schools and includes practice setup, research training and continuing learning.

Curriculum: A competency-based 4-year curriculum offering integrated, multi-disciplinary student-centred learning approach. The students go through a series of competencies that need to be passed to progress. The students are allowed flexibility to pace their competency completion. However, looking at the fixed term of 4 years for the entire program, the ‘pace’ might not be so customisable based on students’ learning curve. The first two years has a curriculum common to all health professions., emphasising preventative healthcare and the utilisation of technology and analytics to support independent elderly. This allows dental students to interact with students of other health professions (Nursing, Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy) and learn the interdisciplinary needs for patient centred care.  There are five courses in this common curriculum and are generic for patient care. The knowledge domain in pre/clinical learning is primarily through small group and students will benefit from the peer interactions. There is augmented and virtual reality (AR VR) for key clinical concepts and applications, anaesthetic technique, and radiography techniques, details available online elsewhere but not sure if in curriculum.  The curriculum is claimed to be integrated, however, the clinical dental disciplines are separately learned in simulation (year 1 and 2) and practiced in 3rd and 4th year.

Assessments: Looking at the curriculum, there should be two points, one at competency and other at year/semester end examinations.

Student support: There is a student support manager and counselling services. Mentoring is part of the student support.

Selection criteria: Apart from the academic standards, the students should pass a Manual Dexterity test (MDT) and Multiple Mini Interviews. The MDT appears unique, details of the test is not available online and the purpose is not. It is likely to be a surprise test to be taken unprepared.

My comment: A prestigious school in Asia with very high entry standards. Prospective students should be good with their manual skills and practice soap carving, wire bending, moulding plasticine etc.  The various dental disciplines are practiced separately in respective departments. The basic medical knowledge is learned in the first two years and students should integrate this knowledge when they go to dental practice. More detailed information on learning opportunities (AR VR) will help students be prepared to use as needed. The common curriculum allows oppurtunities to learn about other professions.

I write blogs on student centered dental education. If you want to subscribe to email alerts for new content, click here. All blog posts available here.

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