Specialist Dental Group has launched an on-going series of blog posts by our individual dental specialists. All views provided are the dentist’s own opinions and are posted on this blog as part of our on-going efforts to educate the public about dental issues and other matters of interest relating to dentistry and healthcare.
Today, one of our interns showed up out of the blue to thank us. Why? He was given a chance to go for his dental education to become a dental surgeon! This is one of our proudest moments.
What is education? According to an online dictionary, education is defined as “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the power of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.”
Throughout the years, we have had a number of students spend some time at our clinic to give them an opportunity to explore whether dentistry was an option for them as a long term career. It was nice to see all those bright minds and it was always an eye-opener for us to see their 21st century perspective.
Gone are the days that a few A-level distinctions would guarantee a place in the dental school. In the past few years, when I served as a dental school entrance interviewer for the National University of Singapore, among the many hundreds of grades that I encountered, I have seen way more distinctions than non-distinctions. Many of the candidates came in with a stack of impressive CVs that would impress any reasonable human being. They can discuss almost any topic under the sun intelligently.
Mind you though, out of numerous applicants, only a small fraction of the students are selected for an interview, and an even smaller fraction is selected for dental school admission. These successful applicants then embark on an extended period of very tough training.
Interestingly, after that long drawn dental school training, when they reach their final examination, some candidates may encounter some significant problems. There is no secret that some of them may even have to re-take their final examination in order for the school to ensure the “product” (i.e., the new dental surgeons) is of good quality and safe to serve mankind. Knowing the nature of a re-examination, if one thinks doing the final examination is stressful and painful (due to the sheer volume of books that one needs to hit), think again!!
I have also been serving as an external examiner for the ‘re-exam’ students for a few years. In essence, I have been serving at the entrance as well as the exit of the NUS dental school. In both positions, I have had to give up a few days of clinical practice. In both cases, I am doing the same work: quality control (QC). My mother would not have guessed that I would be doing QC work one day…
Dr. Ansgar C. Cheng is a Dental Specialist in Prosthodontics (Teeth Replacement) with Specialist Dental Group. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the National University of Singapore. He has a special interest in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and treatment of medically compromised patients, including cancer patients.