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DxD Admin from Singapore asked a question

What is the most common problem and hardship I should expect in NUS dentistry?

Hi,

I am Yun Da, an NSF who has been offered a place at NUS faculty of dentistry undergraduate course. I have a few queries which I hope will help me better understand the course and what is in for me the next 4 years and beyond.

1) What is the most common problem and hardship I should expect in this course?

2) I am aware Singapore citizens have a 4 year bond with MOH following graduation. What are possible MOH postings during the bond and can I be sent to serve in an SAF camp during this posting? When will I be made to commit to this bond and does it run concurrently with postgraduate courses I might take up?

3) Is there an emphasis on research and what teaching resources are used?

4) What does the faculty do to engage students and nurture them?

5) How will classes be run? Is there a teaching philosophy?

6) What advice do you have for someone who has roughly 8 months prior to matriculation. Is there anything I can do to prepare for the challenges I might face in the future?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)
DxD
Singapore
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DxD
Singapore
Answered on 26 Jan 2018

Hi Yun Da,

Thanks for your question.

1) What is the most common problem and hardship I should expect in this course?

The most common problem that you would encounter (or at least for me) is trying to finish up your clinical case requirements, failing to do so would get you retained.

I find it hard as there are many factors that are beyond my control. I would list the ‘main obstacles’ I faced below:

The first obstacle is to find the right patient for each indication that you need. There are stringent case selection criterias in place, and ‘more complex’ cases would not be suitable for treatment with undergrads. You would need to find patients for a range of requirements- from root canal treatments to crowns, dentures, bridges, scaling and polishing, fillings, extractions. Not forgetting a final exam case where the patient has to have a multitude of dental needs.

The 2nd obstacle is to make sure patients are free enough to come back multiple times for you to complete their treatment (clinic operates during working hours from Mon-Fri only). Also their timing would have to match your clinical sessions’ timings.

The 3rd obstacle is to make sure your work is good enough, because you would have to pass the assessors’ gradings and clinical competency tests.

The 4th obstacle is to make sure you are able to churn out your lab work in time for your patients. i.e. you would have to buffer time between sessions for you to fabricate your crown and denture before issue.

2) I am aware Singapore citizens have a 4 year bond with MOH following graduation. What are possible MOH postings during the bond and can I be sent to serve in an SAF camp during this posting? When will I be made to commit to this bond and does it run concurrently with postgraduate courses I might take up?

Yes you could be sent to serve in a SAF camp, but only in the senior years of your bond i.e. when you are in the 3rd and 4th year. Else if you really love working in SAF, you could consider applying for the SAF scholarship.

All students in the course are required to sign a contract before the start of school term to commit themselves to the bond. You can only pay to break the bond (if you wish) upon graduation.

It does not run concurrently with the postgraduate course.

3) Is there an emphasis on research and what teaching resources are used?

I personally think that there is not a strong emphasis on research for the UG programme. However there is a compulsory Undergraduate Research Project which runs across the year 3-4 period, where students are grouped to carry out research on various topics, and are graded on the final research paper and presentation.

Teaching resources are mainly powerpoint slides for lectures, there are also problem based learning sessions where students are taught to critically review current dental literature. For clinical/ lab sessions it would mainly be videos, demos and hands on.

4) What does the faculty do to engage students and nurture them?

I assume that you are asking with regards to ‘holistic development’ of students apart from academics in this question. The faculty does call out for students to help in community dental screening events. They also organize courses by other professionals on ethics and patient communication etc. There are also problem based learning sessions whereby students are given cases to discuss from in a group setting.

5) How will classes be run? Is there a teaching philosophy?

Lectures, lab and clinical sessions are run as per mentioned in point 3. I do not think that there is a teaching philosophy in particular.

6) What advice do you have for someone who has roughly 8 months prior to matriculation. Is there anything I can do to prepare for the challenges I might face in the future?

Well, you could try to ask around and gather interests from friends and relatives to help you out with the clinical sessions to overcome the ‘problem’ that you may face as mentioned in point 1. They would be your greatest supporters when the time comes.

That said, I do not think there is anything that can quite ‘prepare’ you fully enough for the challenges ahead. Everything is unpredictable, and I’m sure you would learn to deal with the challenges as they come. There would always be seniors around for you to consult throughout too (:

Hope this helps!

0 204 views 0 Doctors agree 26 Jan 2018
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