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EDITORIAL
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

The impact of the Saudi dental education society


Clinical Dental Sciences Department, College of Dentistry, Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University; Restorative Dental Sciences Department, College of Dentistry, King Saud University; Saudi Dental Education Society, Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication12-Mar-2018

Correspondence Address:
Ebtissam M Al-Madi
Saudi Dental Education Society, P.O. Box 285072, Riyadh, 11323
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjos.SJOralSci_4_18

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How to cite this article:
Al-Madi EM. The impact of the Saudi dental education society. Saudi J Oral Sci 2018;5:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Al-Madi EM. The impact of the Saudi dental education society. Saudi J Oral Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Jul 16];5:1-2. Available from: http://www.saudijos.org/text.asp?2018/5/1/1/227130



Dental education in Saudi Arabia has come a long way since the establishment of the first dental school in the region in 1975. Since then, the education of dentists and the development of the profession have grown exponentially and have taken leaps and bounds in the creation of postgraduate studies, specialty societies, research, and professional regulatory bodies. In addition, the ministry of education has expanded in the establishment of many dental schools to cover the expanding needs of the country with a large geographic location. The numbers have increased, and the programs have multiplied, but what about the fundamentals of the teaching and learning that take place in these curricula? The question that constantly arises is should we change or develop our curricula? Was what graduated excellent practitioners in the past, effective in the present and the future? With changing treatment modalities, we realize that we need to change what we teach, however do we need to change how we teach it? Are the generation of students now different than students in the past? What would the outcomes be if we took a deeper look at the way we teach, and how our students learn? What impact would that have on the lifelong-learning capability of the practitioner, their capability to handle new situations, and the standard of care they will provide their patients and the community.

As these questions that involve current schools with an extensive educational history, as well as newer schools that are on the verge of developing their curricula, the need for a body to assist in the maintenance of the global standards of dentistry, as well as the promotion and coordination of quality assurance in dental education and training has arisen. The establishment of the Saudi Dental Education Society in mid-2017 was precisely for the above reasons. The society's aims are to promote the advancement and foster rigorous standards of dental education, coordinate peer review and quality assurance in dental education and training, as well as promote and develop fair assessment and evaluation methods. Spreading knowledge and understanding of contemporary educational methodology is one of the goals of the society, as is providing links to all those concerned with medical and particularly dental education. Through continuous education programs focused on dental education, the society encourages adaptation of global standards in dental education and promotes research in dental education. Through the networking that the society forums provide, collaboration with other health fields and societies in the development of materials and methods for dental education is made feasible. The goal is to reach out not only to professionals in recognized educational institutes but also to nontraditional educators in informal training settings. Students are interested in improving the way they learn, and enhancing their soft skills and critical thinking will also be accommodated.

The effect of addressing the interaction of teacher and student in the dental profession is neither confined to the learning environment nor limited to the graduation of a competent dentist. In fact, the practicing dentist is an educator to their patient and the community. Utilizing innovative and effective teaching methodologies will be of added benefit and value to arm the dentist with an understanding of suitable practices to apply in increasing the awareness of the patient and increasing the effectiveness of their treatment through better patient comprehension and motivation. Our society needs better teachers, whether in the form of instructor–student or doctor–patient and educator–society, for the overall betterment of the oral health of our community.






 

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