25 February 2017 – The Malaysian Dental Students’ Association (MDSA), an NGO, organised Dental Undergraduates Survival Kit (DUSK) at IMU. Instead of the usual leisurely Saturday when students head out to the nearest café to hang out or just stay at home to sleep in, this particular Saturday however, wasn’t so for a bunch of budding dentists. An inaugural event which proves to be one of its kind in Malaysia, possibly in the world, DUSK was organised with the aim to help dentistry students’ transition to a dentist.
|DUSK was called a ‘Survival Kit’ because it functions to prepare graduating dental students for the future workforce. Dentistry is no doubt an expanding and popular choice among Malaysian students, but there was a cavity in terms of exposure and learning opportunities beyond the conventional way outside the usual academia settings.|
Looi Shyn Yin, Chief Project Director of DUSK who is a Year 4 dentistry student, mentioned that “DUSK was our brainchild that was meticulously nurtured for the past 8 months to help dental students brace themselves to face a world of barks and overbites. We want to help students gain exposure to the real dental world before engaging in it.”
YBrs Dr Nomah bt Taharim (Director of Oral Health Care Division, Oral Health Division, MOH) and Dr Elise Monerasinghe (Deputy Director, Oral Health Legislation and Enforcement Section Oral Health Division, MOH) were among the invited key speakers together with speakers from academia Prof Mohamed Ibrahim Abu Hassan and Malaysian Dental Association President Dr Chow Kai Foo in a dialogue segment entitled “Transition to a Dentist: Path & Challenges Ahead”. “Medical Emergencies on the Dental Chair “ saw many simulated actors acting out possible scenarios happening in the clinic. The students placed into groups were then put through an adrenaline-pumping timed session to discuss the best way and attempt to salvage the situation accordingly with guidance of experienced lecturers from various fields. The endeavour of setting up a clinic is an arduous task without the right information. AR Dental Supplies and Amedix Sdn Bhd were invited to explain to participants the technicalities and tips of setting up a dental practice in Dental Operatory 101. Intending to have both sides of spectrum, the founder of iSmile, a private practitioner, shared her two cents worth based on her own experience.
|Road to Specialisation was nothing short of fantastic. Having 8 different dental specialists come together in a symposium, participants had the chance clear their doubts and to found out more on what it takes to pursue their masters in their intended field of interest.|
Although the organising committee of DUSK comprised of 23 people (Year 1-5) from all 13 dental universities all over Malaysia, distance proved not to be an obstacle to the success of the event. After numerous online meetings and intense preparation, DUSK garnered an overwhelming response of 300 participants in the conference.
Participants from not only universities in Malaysia but also from Otago, Alexandria and Jordan University signed up for DUSK. Though targeted audience were mainly year 4 and 5 and the graduates awaiting postings, the event also had a handful of already working dentists who came to DUSK.
All in all, many participants truly enjoyed themselves and gave positive feedback. With that, hopefully we would be able to produce clinicians who are grounded with integrity as what Dr Ong Nyuk Jean had said; ‘to be competent and compassionate’.