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EDITORIAL
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57-58

Expanding structured dual-degree program of BDS or DMD/MD to dental specialties other than that of oral and maxillofacial surgery


Former Professor in OMF Pathology, School of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine of University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Date of Submission01-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance01-Jul-2021
Date of Web Publication21-Aug-2021

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Hezekiah A Mosadomi
Former Professor in OMF Pathology, School of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine of University of Lagos, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjoralsci.sjoralsci_33_21

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How to cite this article:
Mosadomi HA. Expanding structured dual-degree program of BDS or DMD/MD to dental specialties other than that of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Saudi J Oral Sci 2021;8:57-8

How to cite this URL:
Mosadomi HA. Expanding structured dual-degree program of BDS or DMD/MD to dental specialties other than that of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Saudi J Oral Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 3];8:57-8. Available from: https://www.saudijos.org/text.asp?2021/8/2/57/324189



The frontiers of quality health care, health awareness, health education, disease prevention, health promotion, and cost management continue to expand significantly across the world regardless of extremely unequal access to health care in many parts of the world. Specifically related to this “World Health” awareness is the vastly increased recognition of the importance of oral health and health practice formats as an integral part of general health care.[1]

This new paradigm is a big challenge to the future generations of medical, dental, and public health practitioners who may aspire to assume leadership roles in assuring quality care to citizens of their nation or communities.

There are different but converging approaches to achieving this. One of these is the modified (and continuously being modified) curriculum of undergraduate and graduate medical and dental education suitable to each country of these future clinicians. This editorial specifically addresses the role of dual dental and medical degree program. The not-so-old but well-established dual program for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFSurg) is well known and is being implemented in related but different formats across the world. Kumar has provided an informative summary of how structured dual program in OMFSurg is being executed in different parts of the world today.[2]

It is suggested that the time is right and ripe to consider initiating a robust and honest discussion in the Arabian Gulf countries on the dual dental/medical degree program for other selected dental specialties other than OMFSurgery. Overall physical and mental health of communities/nations, cutting-edge technologies, telemedicine social media platforms, and ever-expanding scientific innovations combine to support the suggestion for this type of discussion by the concerned expert in the Arabian Gulf region where the funds, the expertise, and the primacy accorded human health are relatively available and evident.

The suggested dental specialties to consider are Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral Medicine/Diagnosis, and Dental Anesthesiology. The educational framework for achieving a structured dual-degree program in any of these four dental specialties could be either of two ways that have been time tested in OMFSurgery:

  1. An integrated 6-year program (Contemporaneous dental and medical residency ending with BDS/MD or DMD/MD)
  2. A 4-year dental degree followed by a 4-year residency in the specialty including an MD degree.


The scope of this editorial does not compel a full discussion of the advantages and possible downside of the dual dental/medical program. That is reserved for a full paper. Suffice it to state that the “headache” that program planners for residency training for these specialties experience in hospital-based or dental institution-based programs is removed because the needed educators will be more easily available, hospital management for dental departments become more efficient, budgeting for inhospital dental specialties become more accomplishable, and interprofessional relationships become more pleasing and productive. Overall, the presence of these four specialties in hospitals becomes more visible for patient care. After all, the focus of health care is the individual, the community, the country, and the world.

This suggestion has been put forward for an honest and rigorous open discussion among stakeholders in the four named specialties. It is acknowledged that all the dental specialties (currently 12 in the USA and 13 in the UK) continue to contribute to the significantly improving awareness of the important links or connections between oral and general health. However, OMFSurgery, OMFRadiology, Oral Medicine/Diagnosis, and Dental Anesthesiology have greater links to dental and medical hospitals and therefore should be given preference when initiating dual dental/medical degree program for dental specialties in Arabian Gulf countries in the very near future.



 
  References Top

1.
Simon L. Overcoming historical separation between oral and general health care: Interprofessional Collaboration for Promoting Health Equity. AMA J Ethics 2016;18:941-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Kumar S. Training pathways in oral and maxillofacial surgery across the globe-a mini review. J Maxillofac Oral Surg 2017;16:269-76.  Back to cited text no. 2
    




 

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