Qatar’s first College of Dental Medicine at Qatar University

Doha: Qatar University (QU) has announced Qatar’s first College of Dental Medicine which will start from September this year offering six-year programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).

As the fourth college under QU Health, the new college will complement the existing health-related Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Health Sciences, and hence expand the possibilities of inter-professional learning at the university. This is the 10th college for QU. Among a yearly intake of up to 25 students, 70 percent are expected to be Qatari high-school applicants from within Qatar.

It was announced in a press conference that was addressed by Dr. Hassan Al Derham, President of Qatar University; Dr. Egon Toft, Vice-President and Founding Dean of the College of Medicine; Professor 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 Abdul Latif Mohamad Al Khal, Deputy Chief of Medical, Academic and Research Affairs, Medical Education, HMC and Director of Clinical Affairs at QU Health.

Dr. Hassan Al Derham, expressed his enthusiasm in launching the new college saying: “As part of Qatar’s pivotal role in supporting the direction towards a knowledge economy, and to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030, we establish this new college, the College of Dental Medicine, to provide the community with the necessary medical competencies in this important discipline.”

 “At QU, 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,” he added.

Talking to The Peninsula, Abdul Latif Mohamad Al Khal said: “The new college symbolises successful product of Qatar University and the Ministry of Public Health.

The dental services provided by Hamad Medical Cooperation (HMC) are highly specialised, we provide dental care in six specialities. HMC will provide the clinical learning environment, as the students will be trained in clinics for the last two years during their degree program. The students will have access to laboratories as well where the dentists work.”

“Our Dentists will assist and teach the students as they will come for training. During these two year the students will complete their internship program, by the time students will graduate they will not require an internship to start a job,” Abdul Latif added.

The curriculum will incorporate pedagogical approaches and advanced e-learning and learning technologies, that foster students’ active learning and critical thinking.

Dr Egon Toft said during the press conference, “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 program 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.”

The college will follow international best-practice standards set by accreditation agencies in USA, Australia, Europe and will closely collaborate with international accreditors to ensure compliance with high quality standards. Students who will be admitted to the College of Dental Medicine will be eligible for sponsorships through the MOAD program, where HMC and PHCC will sponsor students who signed an agreement to join their dental workforce after graduation.

The new Oral Health Institute will serve as a platform to integrate education and research in dental medicine and will benefit from the existing collaboration between HMC and international research institutes.

The structure of six year program leading to a Doctor of Dental Medicine was also announced which includes, first year the student joins common first year with all students at QU health, student can have single entry and multiple exit, Innovative and flexible global learning experience; early clinical exposure, Years 2-3.5: Integrated pre-clinical and clinical learning across disciplines (including simulation training), Years 3.5-6: Final Clinical Phase to prepare competent students to provide dental care on graduation and no internship is required following graduation as it is embedded in the undergraduate training.

Source: The Peninsula Qatar