Introduction to BDS Program
The five years Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) programme is conducted in Manipal campus, India for Phase I and Melaka campus, Malaysia for Phase II. Phase I is a two-year preclinical education while Phase II is a three-year clinical training. The effort is a true reflection of the Manipal vision in nurturing students with towering personalities and to strengthen the Manipal value-based education.
The current era of globalization requires the spirit of working together in communicating ideas and creativity. Understanding the importance of linking culture, knowledge, humanitarian activities and professionalism, the BDS programme is designed for students to benefit from both countries to stimulate excellence in academia and health.
The Faculty of Dentistry (FOD) adopts the traditional curriculum as its teaching-learning approach. Nonetheless, the horizontal and vertical integration of subjects is carried out through various strategies such as:-
1. Case-Based Learning (CBL)
CBL is the current teaching approach to problem-solving and critical thinking using experiences from the past and knowledge build in earlier years. The lecturers share cases they have seen during their many years of clinical practice. The case photos are shown to students in the electronic platform (Moodle) prior to the face-to-face session.
The basic science knowledge of normal structure, microbiology and pathophysiology are integrated with the interpretation of investigation done leading to diagnosis and treatment plan. These aspects are discussed during the face-to-face session. Since the activities are aimed to enhance the ability of the student to apply the knowledge learned earlier, CBL is introduced in year 4 and 5 of the five-year dental programme.
Student participation and understanding of the case discussed are assessed during the face-to-face session. A criteria base mark-sheet with five Likert scale score is kept for the purpose of feedback to students for improvement in their learning process.
2. E-Path Module
Teaching Oral Pathology with histology slides and recalling the features of the pathology discussed has never been an easy task. Students would memorize the slides and specific features without understanding its importance. Realizing these challenges and as an early preparation towards the CBL session, the E-Path modules was introduced in teaching Oral Pathology to year 3 students.
E-Path is an electronic Oral Pathology module that integrates the knowledge of clinical history, signs, and symptoms that helps improve correlation with clinical relevance. The Oral Pathology histology slides with relevant case scenarios are developed in this module.
Students select the response/answer to questions asked on each topic. The module is built with explanations of the chosen answer whether right or wrong. It is a form of feedback to students in assessing their level of knowledge.
3. Elective Research Project
An elective research project is a strategic approach to partnering students and academic staff to work on a research project. The activity aims to provide exposure to year 4 students to salient topics such as research methodology, proposal write-up, article appraisal, data collection, and analysis, results interpretation and research presentation.
Every lecturer is required to submit a summary of a study to the Elective Committee for vetting before the projects are revealed to students. Students choose a topic/project of interest especially in the field that they wish to pursue post-graduate studies later. The lecturer acts as supervisors who will guide students in conducting the study.
At the end of the project, students need to present their studies at the Student Scientific Conference which will be held in FOD. The lecturer cum supervisor then guides students to prepare a manuscript ready for submission to a particular journal of choice. Students are made the first author and the lecturer is the corresponding author. These efforts will ensure continuous publication from the lecturers and will enhance both student and lecturer curriculum vitae.
Seminars are arranged for subjects assessed in the professional examination of a particular year. It is aimed to ensure the level of knowledge obtained matches the standards set in the detailed curriculum. Seminars also enhance the soft skills such as presentation and spontaneous abilities to handle questions and answers from the audience. Its dynamics encourages teamwork and improves their communication skills.
5.Holistic Approach to Patient Care
The universal challenge in adopting a traditional curriculum is the inability of students to see patients as individuals due to the compartmentalization of learning by subjects. More often than not, students treat patients as cases rather than as an individual that require preventive, curative and rehabilitative care.
Acknowledging this fact, the General Dental Practice (GDP) module is arranged in the afternoon sessions to guide students adopt a holistic approach to patient care. Morning sessions are dedicated to specialty clinics whereby they are received in-depth training in all disciplines of dentistry.
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