Master of Community Oral Health (Mcoh)

by | Feb 20, 2019

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INTRODUCTION

The Department of Community Oral Health and Clinical Prevention is one of five academic departments that contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate training. The department has vast experience in conducting postgraduate programme. In 1994, the department introduced a one-year postgraduate programme, i.e. Master of Community Dentistry (MCD), which was the first postgraduate programme offered by the Faculty of Dentistry, UM. During the development of the MCD programme, Professor Aubrey Sheiham was the consultant. He was professor emeritus at University College London, United Kingdom. Professor Sheiham visited the department three times under the CICHE (British Council Programme). He overlooked the implementation of the newly developed course and contributed in giving lectures to the postgraduate students. In 2003, the Public Service Department and the Ministry of Health formulated a requirement that a dental public health specialist must undergo a four-year postgraduate programme to be registered in the National Specialist Register. Consequently, the department convened a meeting with the main stakeholders from the Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health to discuss on extending the current MCD course from one-year to a four-year programme to ensure that graduates will be certified as specialist once they exit the programme. The aims and objectives of the new programme were also formulated during the meeting. A follow up discussion was also held with the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM) to formulate the programme structure of the 4-year MPH (Oral Health) programme based on the MPH framework of SPM. Based on both discussions, the department replaced the one-year MCD programme with a four-year Master of Public Health (Oral Health) programme which was designed for Malaysian public health practitioners. The department also offered a two-year Master of Science (Dental Public Health) programme to cater for the need of foreign students. The two programmes were taught concurrently by the Department of Community Oral Health and Clinical Prevention and the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. By 2012, the department has produced 50 MCD graduates, 21 MPH (Oral Health) graduates and 3 MSc (DPH) graduates. These graduates are highly regarded by their employers. Most of them are now holding high administrative positions in the Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health. For example, Datin Dr. Nooral Zeila Junid, Dr. Sharol Lail (1997 graduate) and Dr. Savithri (2008 graduate) is now the Deputy Director of Oral Health Division in the Ministry of Health, while Dr. Natifah Salleh (2003 graduate), Dr. Cheng Lai Choo (2002 graduate) and Dr. Norliza Ismail (2009 graduate), Dr. Nurul Ashikin Husin (2014 graduate) is holding the position of Senior Principal Assistant Director. The current proposed programme was mooted to upgrade the four-year Masters programme to be an equivalent to a doctorate level in line with the development of the medical public health specialty. The planning of this programme started in 2006 with input from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine department.

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