Posted on January 21, 2019

Qatar University (QU) yesterday announced in a press conference the new College of Dental Medicine, which, starting from September 2019, will offer a six-year program leading to the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). With a yearly intake of up to 25 students, 70% of students are expected to be Qatari high-school applicants from within Qatar. 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 first dental medicine college in Qatar and the 10th college for QU.

Dr. Hassan Al-Derham, President of Qatar University; Dr. Egon Toft, Vice President and Founding Dean of the College of Medicine; Prof. 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 were all present to reveal the news at a press conference yesterday.

Dr. Hassan Al-Derham, expressed his enthusiasm in launching the new college and said in his statement, “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.” He adds, “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.”

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Dr. Hassan concluded saying, “Now is an important time to prepare a new generation of skilled Qatari doctors, who are connected with their community, the changes in society and economy, and the health requirements needed.” Dr. Hassan thanked the faculty and the Board of Trustees, who approved the foundation of this new college just last month.

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, “Delivered in close collaboration with HMC and the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), students will benefit from early clinical experience in state-of-the-art facilities including a dental simulation clinic and academic dental hospital at HMC, student-tailored elective studies, community-based education, and research possibilities, which are key elements of the curriculum. Subject-oriented learning, mainly during the common first year at QU Health, meets organ-centered modular teaching and clinical skills training, achieving a full integration of all relevant knowledge and skill domains.”

He adds, “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 establishment of the College of Dental Medicine is hence in line with the Qatar National Health Strategy 2018-2022, under which the Ministry of Public Health started several initiatives promoting oral health. 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.”

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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.

Structure: 6-year program leading to a Doctor of Dental Medicine

  • Year 1: Joined Common First Year with all students at QU Health
    • Single entry, 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
  • No internship is required following graduation as it is embedded in the undergraduate training