The RCSEd Faculty of Dental Trainers has recently welcomed Prof. Toh Chooi Gait, who is a Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur. Prof Chooi Gait brings in 35 years of teaching experience having formerly worked in the University of Malaya.
An active member of many local and international dental organisations she has held key positions on their Councils including President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) South East Asian Division (1997-99); Founding President of the Malaysian Section of IADR (SEA Division) (2000-2002); President of the South East Asian Association for Dental Education (2000-2002) and Founding Council Member of the Malaysian Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry (2004-2008). Prof Chooi Gait is currently Chairman of the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC). She is a reviewer of Operative Dentistry, the European Journal for Dental Education, the International Dental Journal and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry and has served as a reviewer for other local journals including the Malaysian Dental Journal and Annals of Dentistry. In addition, she has conducted numerous workshops at various professional and scientific meetings locally and internationally.
We spoke with Prof. Chooi Gait and learned more about her Fellowship with the FDT and how she is helping promote recognition of dental trainers and educators on behalf of the College.
How has the award of Fellowship of the RCSEd Faculty of Dental Trainers influenced your work so far?
“I have a strong passion and advocate quality education and effective training. Although such a vocation and passion may be shared by academics and trainers, many of them especially in my region are not exposed to the implementation of various educational concepts and best practices. This is the reason why, together with some like-minded colleagues in the region, we founded the South East Asia Association for Dental Education (SEAADE) in 1990 ‘to promote the advancement of dental education and research in all institutions, through cooperative efforts of dental educators in the South East Asia region. In 1997, as President of SEAADE, I introduced the development of a peer review and consultation programme as a service to member institutions to assist them in the quality assurance of their dental programmes, to recognise best practices and to share solutions for common challenges faced by dental schools. I am pleased to note that the schools who participated found this assistance useful. I have also conducted workshops involving Deans and their key staff during SEAADE meetings to determine and agree on the Competencies of the New General Dental Practitioner. These have been published on the SEAADE website to serve as guide for member institutions to facilitate their training to agreed standards. Subsequently, Vietnam has decided to modify their dental training on odonto-stomatology and has developed their national document on Vietnam Dental Professional Competencies. A three-day peer review visit followed by a one day workshop on “Producing Work Ready Graduates of Odonto-Stomatology for the Country and Region” was conducted for 3 key dental schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hue, as tasked by the Ministry to lead the change. I have recently been approached to serve as their international expert consultant to assist them to revise the Vietnam competency document.
Together with Dr Sarah Manton, we have promoted the collaboration of SEAADE with the Faculty to provide training and recognition for trainers by joining the Faculty as Members and Fellows. I do hope that some of my future training can be carried out in the name of the College. SEAADE Council under the new leadership of President Passiri from Mahidol University is planning to introduce online talks and courses to educators and trainers of member institutions. We hope some of the talks/courses are delivered by Fellows of the Faculty. I also hope to be able to organise online, face-to-face or blended learning training courses with the endorsement and/or in collaboration with the Faculty for academics and trainers offered through our IMU Centre for Lifelong Learning."
What initially made you want to be involved with the Faculty of Dental Trainers?
"I have long been a strong advocate for the College and have brought the MFDS Part 2 examination to IMU successfully twice a year until the recent COVID-19 pandemic, when the exam had to be suspended. I am in ongoing discussions to bring in the RCS Diploma in Implant Dentistry examination to Malaysia with a number of experts in Malaysia being trained as examiners. Potential candidates are undergoing their training to sit the Diploma in Implant Dentistry which has been benchmarked with the RCS DID outcomes. I was sharing with Dr Sarah Manton who visited IMU for the MFDS Examination March that I also hope to organise short courses designed for general dental practitioners that will be recognised by the College to allow participants to take the Membership in Advanced General Dental Surgery. I hope to bring this exam to be conducted in IMU in the future. Dr Sarah Manton then motivated me to join the Faculty of Dental Trainers to promote recognition of dental educators and trainers and to provide training on behalf of the College."
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