Last year, I shared with you Schulich Dentistry’s goal to become one of the best dental schools in North America. This year, I’m pleased to tell you about the projects and achievements that will rank us at the top.
Our strategic plan work has been a major focus since 2015. Four priority projects were identified including: human resources and organizational structure; undergraduate clinical education; technology; and faculty development.
A fifth project – the Schulich Way – was also identified, and is being led by the Dean’s Office.
The projects focus on human resources and organizational structure, and undergraduate clinical education have risen to the top in priority. In the next year, we will share with you our renewed approach to clinical education impacting our four-year Doctor of Dental Surgery and two-year Internationally Trained Dentist programs.
Our teams have also been very busy with faculty recruitment. We are filling five positions in Oral Biology, Prosthodontics and Oral Surgery. We are also moving forward with two positions in Oral Medicine/Oral Diagnosis.
Facility, technology and equipment changes and upgrades have also been a priority. Our first- and second-year students are now learning in the new Dental Simulation Laboratory. It is equipped with the latest teaching and dental technology and provides for additional technological applications as they become available or are built into our dental curriculum. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr. Stan Kogon, who led this project to completion.
Construction is underway for a new multipurpose classroom, student lounge, staff and faculty lockers, offices and storage in the space where the former simulation laboratory was situated. We anticipate that this work will be completed before the spring of 2017.
The Dr. Kent Floreani Orthodontic X-Ray Suite recently opened and we are implementing a new Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS). Now in the first phase, this system will be the backbone for digital imaging throughout the dental school.
Next on our list is the acquisition and implementation of a Clinic Management System. The implementation of this software will enable access to electronic patient records, digital imaging throughout the School, provide enhanced patient management and student progression processes. We expect the implementation to be complete by the summer of 2018.
In April 2017, we will receive an accreditation site visit, during which the four-year Doctor of Dental Surgery Program, two-year Internationally Trained Dentists Program, Graduate Orthodontic Program and Oral Surgery/MD/MSc programs will be reviewed. The preparation of documentation for that visit is well underway. We are feeling very positive about the outcomes from that visit.
Our focus on faculty development as it relates to undergraduate clinical teaching and evaluation has been enhanced. Dr. Walter Siqueira, the School’s new Assistant Director, Faculty Affairs, has held a clinical update in the fall and is planning another session on clinical calibration at the procedural level.
Meanwhile, Dr. Gildo Santos has been appointed Chair of Continuing Dental Education and he is exploring new ideas and programming for alumni and practising dentists.
Dr. Harvey Goldberg and the Admissions Committee are strengthening our application and selection process. Thank you to everyone who responded to his requests for assistance; your response was fantastic.
It was wonderful to see so many alumni during Reunion Weekend. The annual event provided us with the opportunity to recognize and honour Dr. Wes Dunn. It was a privilege to unveil a plaque, with his picture, in our main reception area of the dental school. The plaque was commissioned at the request of an anonymous donor who has generously supported the School.
On the same day, at Dentistry’s Reunion Reception and the Dean’s Gala, we recognized Dr. Brenda Thompson, DDS’84, and Dr. Bruce Hill, MClD’90, as the 2016 Dentistry Alumni of Distinction. Dr. Les Kalman, DDS’99, who is responsible for our DOCS program, received the School’s Alumni Community Service Award.
It has been a busy year, and all our faculty, staff and students have demonstrated their vision, wisdom, patience and pride throughout the course of the past 12 months.
I believe that when the School’s new Vice-Dean and Director arrives, he or she will be very excited about our accomplishments and the future for Schulich Dentistry and the entire School.
While there is still a lot of work to do, I am confident we are making good progress, and we are on the right track. With the continued support from Dr. Strong, the University and our alumni, we are well on our way to becoming one of the best dental schools in North America.
As always, I welcome your feedback and ideas and thank you for your support.
Dr. Richard Bohay
DMD, MSc, MRCDC
Acting Director, Schulich Dentistry