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Prof Katpar calls for dental education revamp in Pakistan


Wed. 21 February 2024


LARKANA: Prof Shahjahan Katpar, representing Dow University, has called for transforming dental education in Pakistan to match international standards so that local professional could not only get better opportunities world over, but also produce better outcomes for the patients in the country by following modern practices.

He was addressing the inaugural session of a two-day international conference on 'Emerging Trends in Basic Medical Science,' hosted by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) in collaboration with the Sindh Higher Education Commission.

On the occasion, Prof Katpar shared his views and recommendations aimed at uplifting dental education standards in the country to meet global benchmarks. He fondly recalled the Dental Education Conference held in 2014, supported by Prof. Noshad Shaikh, VC LUMHS, Jamshoro. Under Prof. Shaikh's guidance, new agendas were formulated, shaping the course of dentistry for the subsequent five years.

Prof Katpar underscored the need for a paradigm shift towards a five-year dental education program, following practices in advanced countries. He advocated for the incorporation of new mandatory teaching and examination subjects, alongside proposing a change in degree nomenclature to DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery).

He called for the establishment of a dedicated Pakistan Dental Council and aligning admission criteria for dentistry with those of medical professions to dispel misconceptions regarding dentistry's position in healthcare.

Prof Katpar also addressed the prevalence of oral cancer in Pakistan, advocating for the establishment of a specialized oral cancer hospital to effectively combat the rising incidence.

Prof Katpar, reiterating the necessity for both four and five-year programs to coexist, suggested that the institutions aspiring for global recognition must transition to the five-year DDS program.

Prof Katpar called for collective action from stakeholders to address this critical national academic matter, believing that embracing globalization in dental education will enhance Pakistan's international standing and earn commendation from bodies like the World Federation of Medical Education.


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