5 March 2013 – One hundred percent of the first cohort of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery graduates from the IMU School of Dentistry passed in their recent End of Semester 10 exams. This is indeed a great achievement and a significant milestone in IMU’s history. It has been a special journey for all of those who have been with them. The external examiners—Prof Mohd Ibrahim, the Dean of MARA University of Technology (UiTM) and Assoc Prof Lars Bjørndal from University of Copenhagen were impressed with the performance of the students, especially Prof Mohd Ibrahim who has acted as external examiners for most dental schools, commented that our students are on par, if not better than the majority of students he has examined. “I have to say that the students were all very well prepared for the treatment plan. In particularly they were well trained in understanding that various treatment plans and options are in play, and that there always will be different levels of approaches related to the situation of the patient!”, said Assoc Prof Lars Bjørndal. This milestone is reached with the concerted efforts and contributions by many staff from all schools (a very significant number from School of Medicine both Medical Sciences and Clinical School) and departments. All involved in pioneering the course have demonstrated tenacity as well as strong teamwork in this endeavor with the unwavering support and guidance from top management. It didn’t seem like too long ago when the faculty started planning for a dentistry programme – talking to external consultants and looking for an eminent dean to lead the school. It was quite a daunting challenge which launched all involved on a very steep learning curve. “I feel extremely happy and excited to have successfully finally graduated after a five year long journey. Of course, I am also proud to be part of the pioneer batch of dentistry as this is the group that everyone will remember the most. We had difficulties to cope in the beginning. However, that was one of the factors that made us more independent compared to others. We helped one another whenever we faced difficulties and referred to lecturers and books most of the time. Our dean, Prof Toh was always my role model. She motivated and encouraged us at all points of time and is the one whom I would like to thank the most for molding us into what we are today. Indeed, all of the lecturers of different specialties have guided us in their own way during the last few years. Whenever I had doubt in my study, I would not hesitate to approach them as they were all very generous in sharing knowledge and leading us to the right path”, said Jamie Chew Kwai Yee, one of the graduates.
The first group whom Prof Toh Chooi Gait, the Dean of the School of Dentistry called ‘the trailblazers’ joined IMU on 25 February 2008. “We enjoyed having the students. They are very interactive with the academic staff despite the fact that they are the first batch and had no seniors to guide them. There were lots of uncertainty developing them in the beginning. For the next group of students joining the course, we look to optimizing and improving the coursework appropriately based on the constructive comments and feedback from our pioneering batch of students”, said Prof Toh. Congratulations to Prof Toh and everyone else in the School of Dentistry and of course the successful students. We wish the students the best as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.