Three final year dental students from Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine (AIDM) visited Temple University Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, USA for a 03 week dental observership program.
A long-standing collaboration between the two dental schools formed the basis of the visiting students; Aamir Arif Malik, Farza Khurram and Ibrahim Hassan to be eligible to apply for the program and avail the opportunity to observe at a dental school in the USA.
The students were welcomed by the Dean of Dentistry, Dr Amid I. Ismail, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity, Ms. Jo Ann Allen Nyquist, Coordinator Observership Program, several members of faculty and the students of Temple University.
The students were given authorization to utilise the university’s facilities such as their library, gym, computer lab, preclinical lab, cafeteria and student centre.
During the dental observership program, the visiting students of AIDM spent their time shadowing dentists and dental students in various labs and departments of the dental school, such as the Dental Student Clinic, Preclinical Lab, Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics, Department of Periodontology & Oral Implantology, Department of Endodontology, Department of Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, Oral Microbiology Research Lab, AEGD Department, and the recently established Dental Sedation Centre.
The AIDM students witnessed a variety of dental treatments and techniques ranging from simple procedures like, emergency tooth extractions, root canal treatments, fillings and orthodontic treatments to complex procedures such as oral implant placements, reconstructive maxillofacial surgery, orthodontic management of impacted canines and Alloderm® periodontal grafting.
The use of advanced technology in the dental practice piqued the interest of students. During the program, the dental school was in the process of transitioning from the primitive use of paper based dental forms and charts to a more sophisticated computerised system known as axiUm Dental® software which includes electronic health record (EHR), billing and practice management applications.
The Department of Orthodontics employed the use of iTero® Intraoral Scanners to make highly accurate digital impressions of the patients teeth and EnvisionTec® 3D printers to produce dental models and orthodontic appliances, such as clear aligners without having to involve the services of a dental lab.
On the last day of the program, the visiting students were required to give a presentation about “Life & Dentistry in Pakistan” to the students and faculty members of Temple University.
The presentation was divided into three segments in which Mr. Aamir spoke about Pakistan, the history of the country, its culture and famous citizens of Pakistan who have made valuable contributions at home and abroad. Mr. Ibrahim spoke about the city of Karachi, its people, tourist attractions of the city and various activities that are seen in the bustling metropolis on a regular basis. Ms. Farza spoke about dentistry in Pakistan, Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine and presented a clinical case on Oral Submucous Fibrosis that was managed at AIDM’s Department of Oral Surgery.
The objective of this observership program was to allow the visiting students of AIDM to immerse themselves in an environment that is conducive to learning and exhibits the academic and clinical aspects of dentistry in a foreign country.
This experience broadened their understanding about the field of dentistry, have a formative effect on their minds and built confidence and awareness about their own aptitude and clinical skills.
In conclusion, the program was a success and lead to an experience that was both educational and highly enjoyable.