Dentistry grad thanks Dalhousie for support on centennial anniversary
Dalhousie's Faculty of Dentistry will graduate its one-hundredth class on May 25. Among the group will be nine students in the doctor in dental surgery qualifying program. The program is for Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have graduated from a non-accredited dentistry program in another country. Noorein Hajira is one such student. Hajira is originally from India and holds a bachelor of dental surgery degree. She became a permanent resident in 2009 and says she was fortunate to be accepted to Dalhousie. After graduation, Hajira will be eligible for license to practice dentistry in Canada, the U.S. or Australia.
There are 10 dental schools in Canada. Dalhousie's Faculty of Dentistry is one of six schools that offers the qualifying program and was one of the first to adopt it. The 24-month program launched in 1998 and graduated its first class in 2000. Up to nine students are accepted every year.
All qualifying programs in Canada are accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation of Canada. The commission ensures graduates meet a minimum standard of skill and knowledge. Hajira says the program allows foreign-trained dentists to experience treating the Canadian population and exposes them to advancements in dentistry.
Graduates of the Faculty of Dentistry's qualifying program report little or no difficulty finding jobs. Dr. Ronald Bannerman, the faculty's assistant dean of academic affairs, says the school hears three recurring comments from graduates: they're grateful for the treatment they received in the program, the knowledge they gained in addition to what they began with and the clinical experience they got from Dalhousie.
In addition to maintaining excellence in the qualifying program, Dalhousie's Faculty of Dentistry has several other goals for the future as it approaches its centennial anniversary. Dr. Bannerman says the faculty plans to expand clinical outreach in Metro Halifax and in Labrador and increase activity in inter-professional health education. The faculty also plans to launch a residency in general dental practice in about a year.
"People from various countries are very knowledgeable. It's just that when we come together here, [the faculty] make sure we're all at the same level when we get out of here – the same level that a Canadian dentist would be in terms of skills [and] in terms of knowledge." – Noorein Hajira, graduate, Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie
"The accreditation system requires that [the program] doesn't vary a whole lot [from others in Canada]. There's a significant emphasis on clinical activity here, versus other programs that are...more research inclined. We've had excellent clinicians here...so our evolution has been along [that] stream. It's the way we evolved and we're pretty happy that it did evolve that way." – Dr. Ronald Bannerman, assistant dean, academic affairs, Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie
"Our qualifying program colleagues and friends bring elements of their own culture to our students. Our students interact with them...and tend to become rather amorphous and, I think, therefore more tolerant of other people, since they've literally lived with them through thick and thin for a period of time." – Dr. Ronald Bannerman, assistant dean, academic affairs, Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie
"Dal has been my home in Canada ever since I came to Canada. I really love the people...and when I applied to Dentistry they were very supportive and welcoming. I just fell in love with Dal and I’ve had a great experience." – Noorein Hajira, graduate, Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie
Qualifying program class of 2012 student Noorein Hajira
- More information on the Faculty of Dentistry's qualifying program
- More information on the Faculty of Dentistry’s centennial anniversary
- Marilyn Klein, Communications Officer, Faculty of Dentistry – (902)-494-2264, email@example.com