August 19, 2009
Two groups of students and faculty from Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt, recently finished up separate two-week visits to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry as part of a cross-cultural, dental education exchange.
Earlier this year, the dental school signed a collaborative agreement with the Faculty of Dentistry at Pharos University. The goal is to help Pharos achieve an international standard of excellence in undergraduate dental education, and to share knowledge and resources to raise standards in dental education globally.
The visitors participated in classes with faculty and students at the School of Dentistry, reviewed procedures and practices used in the school's clinics, and were involved in seminars with various department leaders. The Egyptian students were also tasked with hunting for answers from Pacific students to a variety of clinical dilemmas, such as how to manage pit and fissure defects, and whether to extract third molars routinely in young adults. The visiting students also presented a patient case to an audience of Pacific students and faculty in the Third-Year Integrated Clinical Sciences seminar.
The group's schedule was facilitated by Dr. Eugene LaBarre, faculty member of the Department of Removable Prosthodontics, and the school's coordinator for the exchange. The trip comes on the heels of a visit earlier this year to Pharos University by Dr. LaBarre, Dr. Nader Nadershahi and Dr. Terry Hoover to meet with the Egyptian dental school's faculty there. The summer visits to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry were the first for students from Pharos.
"This exchange provided a valuable opportunity to share knowledge and discuss some of the differences and similarities in the practice of dentistry in our respective countries," said Dean Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr. "We look forward to continued involvement with our colleagues at Pharos University and elsewhere around the world to improve global dental education."
An example of a difference in patient care is the requirement that all American dentists have basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation training. The Pharos students observed with interest the Saturday CPR sessions for second-year Pacific students, and now are excited to institute similar training for Egyptian dentists.
Of course, the visit was not totally about dentistry. "The groups had opportunities to sight-see in Northern California, enjoying Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and the many special aspects of San Francisco itself," said Dr. LaBarre. "Everywhere they went, the Egyptians made new friends easily, and impressed us with their good humor and interest in the culture of America. They found California to be a fascinating and energizing place."
Added Dr. LaBarre, "Through this experience, they found out that their dental program in Alexandria is on the right track, and that there are many opportunities for graduate studies and professional development in the United States."
Pharos University was the first private university established in Alexandria — the second largest city in Egypt — in response to strong demand in Egypt and throughout the Middle East for better-quality higher education. The administrators of Pharos University aim to provide professional education at a high level, equivalent to world-class institutions, so their university can become a model of excellence for the region. The Pharos-Pacific cooperation is an opportunity for these Egyptian students and faculty to closely compare their program with Western dental education, and to return to their home with many new ideas and friends.
Category Type: Special Events
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