April 13, 2009
In the spirit of international collaboration to advance dental education, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry hosted a group of leading dental educators from Sun Yat-sen University's Guanghua School of Stomatology, one of China's top dental schools, on April 6.
Professor and Dean Ling Jun-qi, Professor and Vice Dean Zeng Rong-sheng, Professor and Director Lin Zheng-mei and Associate Professor and Vice Director Wei Xi toured the campus during their visit. In addition, the dental educators had a one-on-one meeting with Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., breakfast with the Dean's Cabinet and met with faculty members.
The visit featured an informative presentation by Dean Ling Jun-qi on the status of dental education and the practice of dentistry in China.
Dean Ling Jun-qi highlighted recent growth in the amount and quality of dental education in China. There are now 83 dental schools in the country. Graduates primarily work in university and public dental hospitals. However, more graduates are expected to enter private practice as the private medical market expands in the country.
With the development of the Chinese economy, the number of dentists in the country keeps rising. The management, service quality and accomplishments of practitioners have improved in recent years. However, the number of patients per dentist has also been growing. There is a very large unbalance between the number of dentists and the needs of the population, especially in rural areas.
According to Dean Ferrillo, both the Guanghua School of Stomatology and the Dugoni School place a high priority on developing their faculty and staff in order to improve the quality of dental education in each country.
In an effort to expand the global network of dental education, the two schools signed a collaborative agreement in 2007 to share knowledge and resources in order to raise standards of dental education globally.
The Guanghua School of Stomatology, located in Guanghua, China, recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. In addition to offering degree programs in dentistry, the school operates one of the largest dental hospitals in China.
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