Qatar to Open Its First Dental School

Dentistry Today


Qatar University will open its College of Dental Medicine in September, which will comprise a six-year program leading to a doctor of dental medicine (DDM) degree. With a yearly intake of up to 25 students, 70% of the applicants are expected to be high school students from within the nation. It will be the first dental school in Qatar. 

“As part of Qatar’s pivotal role in supporting the direction towards a knowledge economy, and to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030, we establish this new college, the College of Dental Medicine, to provide the community with the necessary medical competencies in this important discipline,” said Dr. Hassan Al-Derham, president of QU.

“At QU, we believe human development cannot happen without focusing on health and its different aspects: physical health, psychological health, and mental health. For this reason, we established the health cluster in QU in 2017, to be an umbrella for the different schools, pharmacy, medicine, health sciences, and finally now, dentistry,” Hassan said.

“Now is an important time to prepare a new generation of skilled Qatari doctors who are connected with their community, the changes in society and economy, and the health requirements needed,” said Hassan, who also thanked the faculty and the QU Board of Trustees, who approved the college’s foundation just last month.

The curriculum will incorporate pedagogical approaches and advanced e-learning and learning technologies designed to foster active learning and critical thinking, QU reports. It also will follow best practices set by accreditation agencies in the United States, Australia, and Europe and will collaborate with accreditors to ensure compliance with international standards.

“Delivered in close collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), students will benefit from early clinical experience in state-of-the-art facilities including a dental simulation clinic and academic dental hospital at HMC, student-tailored elective studies, community-based education, and research possibilities, which are key elements of the curriculum,” said Dr. Egon Toft, vice president and founding dean of the QU College of Medicine. 

“Subject-oriented learning, mainly during the common first year at QU Health, meets organ-centered modular teaching and clinical skills training, achieving a full integration of all relevant knowledge and skill domains,” said Toft, adding that the new college was founded to address the comparatively high prevalence of oral disease in Qatar.

“The establishment of the College of Dental Medicine is hence in line with the Qatar National Health Strategy 2018-2022, under which the Ministry of Public Health started several initiatives promoting oral health,” Toft said.

“The program will address one of the main recommendations of the National Oral Health Roadmap, to educate our own dental workforce, and in the process provide a sustainable and self-sufficient solution for the dental workforce,” Toft said. 

Students will be eligible for scholarships through the MOAD program, where HMC and PHCC will sponsor students who sign an agreement to join their dental workforce after graduation. The new Oral Health Institute will integrate education and research in dental medicine and will benefit from the collaboration between HMC and international research studies, QU says.

The six-year program will involve: 

  • Year 1: A common single-entry, multiple-exit first year with all students at QU Health designed for an innovative and flexible global learning experience and early clinical exposure
  • Years 2 through 3.5: Integrated pre-clinical and clinical learning across disciplines, including simulation training
  • Years 3.5 through 6: Final clinical phase to prepare competent students to provide dental care upon graduation.

No internship will be required following graduation, as it will be embedded in the undergraduate training.

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