August 09, 2010
Educators from Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt recently finished up a three-week visit to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry as part of a cross-cultural dental education exchange between the two dental schools.
In 2009 the Dugoni School of Dentistry and the Faculty of Dentistry at Pharos University signed a collaborative agreement with a goal of helping Pharos achieve an international standard of excellence in dental education. The two schools also share knowledge, resources and best practices in an effort to raise dental education standards globally.
During their visit to San Francisco, Drs. Amany Abdou, Nabila Karim, Sahar el Kholy and Hala Yassin participated in classes and lectures; observed clinic and laboratory practices; and met with department leaders.
The visitors also presented a seminar on dental education in Egypt, highlighting some of its differences from American dental education.
For example, in Egypt students matriculate into dentistry directly after secondary school. The predoctoral curriculum spans five years, including all language, mathematic and basic science coursework. Dental classes also tend to have twice the number of Pacific students per class, with fewer instructors.
Dr. Gene LaBarre, faculty member in the Department of Removable Prosthodontics, was the school's coordinator for the exchange. This is the second trip Pharos representatives have made to the Dugoni School of Dentistry in as many years. Several Pacific faculty members have also travelled to Egypt for similar exchange trips.
"After the second visit from Pharos students and faculty, it's clear that the dental education exchange program is truly a win-win for both schools," commented LaBarre. "The visit provides a focused opportunity to share information and resources with our colleagues at Pharos University, while also learning about methods and best practices used in their country. It's an enlightening experience for us all."
Although learning and exchanging information about dental education was the driving purpose of the visit, the Egyptian visitors also spent time exploring the city of San Francisco and landmarks throughout Northern California, including Muir Woods in Marin County. Dining at many of San Francisco's famous restaurants was also part of the trip's agenda.
"The exchange with Pharos is another step in supporting our school's broader goal of improving dental education throughout the world in partnership with our international colleagues," remarked Dr. Nader Nadershahi, acting dean of the Dugoni School of Dentistry. "We look forward to continuing to nurture this relationship in the years to come."
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 Dugoni School of Dentistry recently announced a Global Initiative in Dental Education (GIDE) which, in part, aims to educate future leaders in dental education and enhance global oral health by elevating standards in dental education worldwide.
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