Vancouver Summer Programs in Dentistry

September 3, 2014

On July 19, 2014, 23 dental students from 10 Chinese universities arrived in Vancouver to participate in a four-week educational program in the UBC Faculty of Dentistry. This was the first time Dentistry offered courses in UBC’s Vancouver Summer Programs, an initiative of the Office of the Provost and Vice President Academic.

Two courses were organized for these students: “Oral Cancer: Why Haven’t the Clinical Outcomes Improved?” and “Dental Caries: The Most Common Infectious Disease in Humans.”

The Chinese students came with either one, two or three years of their dental education programs completed, which are six years in length with students admitted following graduation from high school. The content areas—dental caries and oral cancer—were new to the students due to their year in dental school and they were very eager to engage in the new material.

Eli Whitney And Visiting Students From China In The CLC

Dr. Eli Whitney and visiting students from China in the Computer Learning Centre during the Vancouver Summer Programs in Dentistry.

The courses included lecture materials on the basic biomedical content and some application sessions in the Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre and in the Computer Learning Centre.

“It was interesting to watch the students find the definitions for words in the lectures in both English and Chinese, however there was no language barrier evident in their learning and one of the benefits the students found was the opportunity to improve their English skills,” says Dr. Charles Shuler, Dean of UBC Dentistry. He and 15 other faculty members taught in the courses and provided their expertise to the visiting students.

Dr. Eli Whitney, Senior Instructor and Program Director of the Oral Medicine-Oral Pathology Residency program, delivered one lecture and supervised two interactive sessions in the Computer Learning Centre. He says, “the students were very eager to learn and the questions they asked during the small group sessions demonstrated that they we assimilating the material.”

The feedback from the students was very positive and they appreciated the participation of the outstanding UBC Dentistry faculty members who are internationally recognized experts in their fields. All of the students evaluated the program and felt it was a great experience and they would recommend it to their classmates in China. The students left UBC and Vancouver on August 19 and they all commented that they would miss UBC and Vancouver and hoped to return in the future. Dr. Ravindra Shah, Director of International Relations, adds that “on several occasions visiting students interacted with UBC Dentistry students in various social and cultural activities, thus mutually enriching their life experiences”. Shah was faculty coordinator of the summer program in Dentistry; additional support for the program was given by Kimi Evans in the Dean’s Office.

Dental Students From Ten Chinese Universities Gather Around Ravindra Shah

Dental students from 10 Chinese universities gather around Dr. Ravindra Shah (top row, 3rd L) and Dr. Charles Shuler (top row, R) in the Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre. The visiting students took two courses in Dentistry as part of UBC’s Vancouver Summer Programs in 2014.

Ten UBC faculties developed courses for Chinese students as part of this year’s Vancouver Summer Programs. A total of 630 students came to UBC to participate in the courses. They lived on campus in dormitories throughout the program.

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