UTech-trained dentists are world class
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Over the past five years, more than 50 fourth- and fifth-year dental students from the School of Oral Health Sciences, University of Technology (UTech), have participated in Great Shape! Inc (a United States of America non-profit, charitable corporation) 1000 Smiles Project.
During a one-week rotation, each student provided dental care for the underserved population in rural clinics, located in western and northern Jamaica. At all times the students were under the direct supervision of licensed dentists from the United States and Canada, both private practitioners and dental-school faculty members.
Under the tutelage of these dentists, UTech students built on the knowledge and skills acquired in school. This rotation was not only an exposure to clinical dentistry; it was also an opportunity to foster personal growth and stimulate their humanitarian acumen.
I have worked with several students, allowing me to attest that they exhibited outstanding knowledge and understanding of disease mechanism, with excellent ability to apply it to clinical situations. Their clinical performances (knowledge of assigned patients, interest in the management of patients, skill in the management of patients, history/physical examination skills, technical skills) were excellent. Without a doubt, these students would complete the University of California San Francisco, School of Dentistry, curriculum without remediation.
The appended names of dentists-volunteers from the United States of America (signatures on file) represent licensed dentists who have supervised these students. It is their wish to emphatically endorse the level of competence and knowledge demonstrated by the UTech students. These students are on par with students from the United States and Canadian universities.
After having worked with these students hands-on through countless procedures on many patients, it is their collective opinion that these students are on track to become highly competent professionals and humanitarians, providing high-quality care to all Jamaicans.
From my perspective as a dental educator for more than 42 years, former board member and president of the Dental Board of California, and delegate to the House of the California Dental Association, and foremost a Jamaican, this is not the time for Jamaican dentists to venture into internecine warfare. With the demographic of one dentist to 17,000 population (2011) and, worst, one to 53,000 for the underserved population, Jamaica has a vast unmet need for dental health care. Compare this scenario to California's demographic of 1:1,741 (2014), leaving the state with a large unmet need, for which organised dentistry, not the Government, has instituted measures to alleviate.
It behoves the adversarial factions in Jamaica to drop the gauntlet, cooperate and combine resources in order to create measures to better serve the unmet dental health care needs of our underserved population.
NEWTON C. GORDON (DDS, MS)
Clinical Professor Emeritus
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
University of California San Francisco
Co-signed by these dentists who have supervised and trained UTech DMD students on clinical rotations in Jamaica
Jack Levine (DDS)
Member, American Dental Association, International Programs
Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry
Fellow of the American College of Dentists
C.R. Anderegg (DDS),
Faculty, University of Washington Dental School
Ronald L. Guttu (DDS, MSD)
Diplomate, American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Adjunct Clinical Professor, Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine
Professor and Chairman, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Medicine, UTech School of Oral Health Sciences, University of Technology, Jamaica
Nima S. Massoomi (DMD, MD)
Adjunct professor of Surgery - University of Pacific School of Dental Medicine
Diplomate American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Peter Auster, DMD, Pamona, NY
Board Director, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Immediate Past-President, New York
Richard Langiulli (DMD)
Faculty, St Barnabus Hospital Residency Programme, NY
Mina Desai (DDS)
Faculty, University of the Pacific, San Francisco