International General Dentist Educator Program Builds Bridges Between Kuwait and American Dental Educators
Drs. Hanadi Al Enezi (left) and Fawaz Alzoubi (right)
The Kuwait University Faculty of Dentistry has established a collaboration with the University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and Gladys Benerd School of Education to offer the International General Dentist Educator (IGDE) program, an opportunity designed for international scholars looking to further their dental education and eventually become dental educators. The program, which started in 2010, brings students from abroad to Pacific’s campus locations in San Francisco and Stockton, California, for five years of advanced training and graduate work. Currently there are two students, Drs. Fawaz Alzoubi and Hanadi Al Enezi, both from Kuwait University, going through the program.
The IGDE program beginning stems from the goals of both institutions in growing their international relationships, advancing the future of dental education, and improving global oral health. In the case of Kuwait University, the two scholars chosen to participate received a scholarship to go toward the program costs. Upon completion, they will be academically qualified to teach and practice at Kuwait University.
Participants are required to undergo clinical and didactic training as well as complete a thesis project. Clinical education is provided under a two-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry program leading to a clinical certificate upon completion of both years. Didactic education is provided under a two-year graduate program leading to a Master's Degree in Professional Education and Leadership. The final year of the program consists of completing a thesis project, and the teaching practicum in didactic, pre-clinical and clinical education of doctoral students.
Since the launch of the new program, the two Kuwait University participants have been able to provide feedback and suggestions to Pacific’s administrators for modifications and improvements. As the program continues to grow, further changes may be made to allow each participating scholar to get the most out of his or her experience. Upon completion of the program both scholars have plans to return to Kuwait University as dental educators.
“I feel that I have grown both as a clinician and an educator,” said Alzoubi about his experiences in the program. “I plan to become an influential educational leader in the field of dentistry and health care in general.”
While the program was initially designed for scholars from Kuwait University, other Universities have shown interest in having scholars participate in the program. Pacific is accepting applications from prospective students at all non-U.S. universities. More details are available on the IGDE program’s web page.
The International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations (IFDEA) encourages Universities involved in international dental education partnerships to take advantage of free online resources available on the IFDEA Global Knowledge Center. To submit resources to the online center, IFDEA members may contact IFDEA Executive Director Anders Nattestad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IFDEA is a global community of dental educators who have joined together to improve oral health worldwide by sharing knowledge and raising standards. IFDEA contributes to improving global health by improving oral health by serving as an axis of information, best practices, exchange programs, news and professional development for the many regional dental education associations and individual academic dental institutions worldwide.