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Noman Ahmed

The Express Tribune

Published Date: Feb 26, 2015

Reforms in education: Dentistry students to study an additional year

KARACHI: Prospective dentistry students will have to undergo five years of study from the next academic year to complete their graduation in the discipline.

This was decided by the vice-chancellors of Pakistan’s medical universities in a meeting with representatives of the Sindh Higher Education Commission (SHEC) and the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) on Wednesday.

The modification in the four-year Bachelor’s of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree, will also reflect in its name as the new five-year programme will be referred to as the ‘Doctor of Dental Surgery’ (DDS), said Dr SM Tariq Rafi, the Jinnah Sindh Medical University’s vice-chancellor.

“The resolution, with the final approval of the PMDC and the federal HEC, will be implemented to meet international standards in dental education,” said Dr Rafi, adding that Pakistani dentistry graduates at present face issues in acquiring equivalence to practice in other countries because they fail to meet the required number of credit hours.

Prof Dr Noshad Ahmed Shaikh, vice-chancellor at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, said that the additional year of study will comprise courses that are deemed compulsory in American dental schools.

The step will, however, result in extra financial burden for the parents of dentistry students, said a head of dental section at a public-sector dental college, while requesting not to be named. “The step will only be beneficial for students who wish to pursue further studies or practice the profession abroad,” said the official. “We should see whether this modification is substantial in order to meet the
needs of the country’s dental healthcare, which already comes with an exorbitant price-tag.”

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