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National Conference on Changing Trends in Health Professions Education

The National Conference on Changing Trends in Health Professions Education was organized at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth between 18.08.16 and 20.08.16. Undergraduate dental education – A time for change was the theme for the first day. An elite crowd of dental academicians participated in the conference. Dr. Saravana Kumar R, Vice principal, IGIDS, SBV, welcomed the gathering. Dr. Carounanidy Usha, Dean, Faculty of Dental Sciences, IGIDS, SBV, presented the bouquet and memento to the dignitaries on the dais. The inaugural program began with lighting of kuthuvilaku by the dignitaries. Dr. Suhashini Nagda, former Dean, Nair Dental College and an eminent dental educationist graced the occasion as a special guest and felicitated the gathering with her thought provoking speech on dental education in the inaugural program. Prof K.R. Sethuraman, Vice Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, delivered the inaugural address. Prof N. Ananthakrishnan, Dean, Research and Allied Health Sciences, released the e-souvenir and felicitated the gathering. All the guest speakers were honored by the dignitaries. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. M. Shivasakthy, Organizing Secretary.

The event started with a Skype session on International perspectives of BDS curriculum. The speakers were Dr. Venkatesh Babu, faculty in School of Dentistry, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Dr. Joshua Sheih, Program Director and Clinical Instructor, Academy of International Dental Education, Mississauga, Canada. Both the speakers shared their experiences as an Indian dental graduate working abroad and the key differences in the Indian and abroad system of dental education. The humane touch of the Indian faculty was appreciated well and the need for faculty development program and training on professionalism was insisted. Revision of the exam system in Indian BDS curriculum was insisted to be changed as more of formative assessment and OSCE pattern rather than the skill based exam.

The second session on basic medical sciences perspectives in BDS syllabus was discussed by Dr. Krishna Kumar Raja, Prof & Head, Dept of Oral Surgery, SRM Dental College, Chennai. He insisted on trimming of the cognitive load in basic medical sciences, system based integration, dental graduates to become teachers in basic sciences, early clinical exposure and syllabus revision by medical and dental faculty together.

The session was followed by an interesting team presentation by Dr. Lakshmi Narayan, Principal, Thai Mookambigai Dental College, Chennai and Dr. Kandaswamy, Dean, SRMC Dental  college, Chennai, on dental sciences perspectives in BDS curriculum. They insisted on vetting of the classes by the Heads of Department, standard operating protocols in departments, integration of dental sciences, relevancy of the preclinical exercises, feedback from the students and involving the students in diagnosis and treatment planning rather than allotment system, provision for leading clinicians to become part time teachers, examination reforms and interchange of faculty between colleges.

The pre lunch session was sharing of Saveetha Dental College experiences in dental education by Dr. Deepak Nallaswamy, Director, Saveetha Dental College, Chennai. He elaborated on the success of comprehensive clinics and flipped classes along with other innovative methods in education.

In the post lunch session Dr. Pushpanjali, Academic registrar, MS Ramaiah Institute, shared the undergraduate clinical experiences at her institute. She insisted on designing curriculum to ensure competent dental graduates, choosing curriculum leaders and ethics.

The session was followed by sharing of experiences by Dr. Dilip G.Naik, Associate Dean of MCODS, Mangalore. He insisted that it was time for students to reflect their learning for the sustenance of the system.

The concluding session of the day was a student panel discussion moderated by Dr. Shivasakthy. The students insisted on integration of basic science with clinical sciences, early clinical exposure and revision of orthondontics in under graduate syllabus. The concluding remarks for each session were made by Dr. Carounanidy Usha and Dr. Suhashini Nagda.

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