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The Fill In

November, 2008


The Fill In

Cover Photo: Sarah Ramsaroop, Dr. Ryszardo Jennings, Marc Mootoo Editors: Devin Jaggernauth, Carlen Chandler, Candice Cunningham, Lois Applewhite, Reyan Wellington, Contributing Writers:, Sarah Ramsaroop, Denelle Furlonge, Dr. Ryszardo Jennings, Dr. Brian Millar Photography: Sarah Ramsaroop, Dr. Ryszardo Jennings

It’s November at last and surely this can only mean one thing: Banquet time! That’s right, we’re going big and bold with our 8th Annual Dental Banquet to be held on November 14, 2008. This time we’re aiming to revive some of the old DSA traditions, as well as introduce some new ones. There’s been much DSA activity over the past month and we here at the Fill In will be sure to do what we do best: fill you in. Most of you should know that our massively successful student staff cricket match was held on October 19, 2008 despite conditions that threatened postponement. Our article will bring you up to speed. Also in this issue, we feature an interview with the head of the Child Dental Health Unit: the ever-approachable Dr. Naidu. The Dental Students’ demonstration was featured all over the national media, but in our coverage, we give our take on the issues and exactly what and how it went down.

UWI Dental Students Association School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences UWI St Augustine Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex Uriah Butler Highway Trinidad, West Indies

Lastly, Dr. Brian Millar presents the options available to graduates and even practitioners looking to take that next step with his insightful article on blended learning. We hope you enjoy all this issue contains, and as always we welcome your ideas and suggestions

Email: Website:

TFI UWI DSA Executive: Devin Jaggernauth - President Arif Saqui – Vice President Sarah Ramsaroop – Treasurer Allana Tang Choon - Secretary


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The Scene 


The 8 Annual Dental Banquet will be held on Friday November 14, 2008 at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. Tickets are available from any DSA exec member and class reps. See full page ad for details.

On Friday 31st, October - the second day of the Faculty of Medical Sciences inter-school football competition, the school of Dentistry silenced the critics as they defeated last year's finalists (year 3 med) by 2 goals to nil. After bowing out in the first round of last year's tournament, the former 2004 and 2006 champions opened the scoring 2 minutes before half time, with midfielder Kristian Coutou converting a header from a perfectly weighed cross delivered by Peter Khumo. Frank (Kata) Mokatazi also blasted a left-footed shot into the top corner to increase Dentistry's lead by 2 goals. Peter Khumo looked dangerous and almost scored a third for dentistry, but his shot sliced the top of the cross bar in the final minute of the game. Despite missing key goalkeeper Ronnie Roodal and forward Chris Joseph, Dentistry's goal post was never really threatened, thanks to star defender Marcus Valentine and Mark Mootoo who made a valiant effort to ensure that our team maintained its advantage even though he was asked to play in an unfamiliar position. The Yr 3 Med's main chance came just only after 5 minutes from the start, but was denied by Dent's goalkeeper. Dentistry 2 - Yr 3 Med 0. Congratulations Dentistry!!!! Keep on fillin‟ those goals.

We also wish to extend congratulations to all our graduates! Well done guys!


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Unstoppable: DSA Cricket Day 2008 Ryszardo Jennings

Black clouds, with flashes of lightning, accompanied by loud claps of thunder greeted the few early birds who trickled in to the EWMSC for the beginning of this year‟s Student Staff Cricket Match. The date was Sunday 18th October, 2008; the field was completely water logged and the rain showed no prospect of letting up. Cellular phones from all corners rang continuously, as curious supporters questioned if the event would have been cancelled due to the inclement weather. The powers that be tried putting their heads together to implement Plan B, ensuring not to disappoint all those who had reserved the day for this much-advertised and anticipated event. To make an already grim situation even worse, the burger salesman, the snow cone vendor and even our very own Wazim from the reception desk all had emergencies which prevented their participation. What else could have possibly happened? As plans continued to be discussed and suggestions were made, the DSA Vice President, Arif Saqui, proposed an idea, much to the surprise of those present. It is eventually agreed upon to turn the event into a football fete match on the hugely water soaked field. Meanwhile under the tents, packs of cards were pulled out and intense games of all-fours were started. This match, which resembled water sports more than anything else, played out for about half an hour as friends, supporters and teams, continued to filter in. Even the „Ogunsalu boys‟ made their combined presence felt on the field in the muddy game, showing off their great skills while making a strong representation on their father‟s (Dr. C. Ogunsalu‟s) behalf. As the day went by, a plan C is devised in an attempt to include those attendees who weren‟t too keen on playing football. The teams were present and waiting, as they have been for some time, to be crowned the best cricket team in the School of Dentistry. Much had been said in the build up to 4

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these matches, and a whole lot of bragging rights were on the line. After some suggestions, it was decided to hit the road, which was transformed into a temporary cricket pitch and the rules were tweaked to suit the conditions at the time. Finally, the real games got on the way, albeit late, and the teams resolved to play a knockout competition with a final for all the glory. First up: the Lab Rats (Lab Technicians) against the Big Burs (Clinical Dent.). Despite a few intervals of leniency from Mother Nature, these teams battled it out, for the most part, in the pouring rain after the Lab Rats won the toss and sent the Big Burs in to bat. Big Burs scored a total of 83 in their ten overs. Before the game was restarted, the UWI St. Augustine Campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat made an impressive official opening to the dayâ€&#x;s events, while displaying some fierce batting skills and mingling with those present at the event. In keeping with the family affair, he was joined by his children.

Immediately after, the ongoing game between the Lab Rats and the





proved to be a close finish, as the Lab Rats were able to reach the target of 84 runs in 10 overs, and also secure a spot in the final that afternoon.

The second match of the day saw the Academic Staff against a very young yet determined Pre-Clinical Team, where the Academic Staff were sent to bat after losing the toss. Due to the lengthy first contest and a sun that threatened to set early, this match was shortened to 8 overs per team. The batting was opened by the Director of the Dental School, Prof. Murti, 5

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who made his signature score of one run before retiring from the wicket. The team posted an overall score of 72/8 after 8 overs. After the Preclinical team took to the wicket, they managed to scrape 68/8 after 8 overs, thereby, handing a well deserved victory and a spot in the final match to the Academic Staff. The turnover between the matches provided little recuperation for the Academics, as light was quickly fading, and no one would hear of postponing the final. The Academic Staff won the toss and elected to field. The Lab Rats were under serious pressure, sweating and toiling, and in a game where every run mattered, they were only allowed 67/8 after the allotted 8 overs. This game had progressed to a heavily contested affair; the crowd was certainly well entertained, and the match was set for a wonderful, nail-biting end. When the time came for the Academic Staff to bat, they were forced to do so under lights, a possible first for any such fete match in the DSAâ€&#x;s history. However, they made light work of the Lab Ratsâ€&#x; modest score and reached the target of 70 without loss to pick up a well-merited triumph.

At the end of the evening, a mini-awards ceremony was held for all participants. However, this will be formally presented at the upcoming 8th Annual Dental Banquet, scheduled for November 14th, 2008. Many thanks must go out to the organizers and participants of this event, as it proved to be one of the most enjoyable staff/students affairs in the last five years. Appreciation is also in order to all others who turned out in large numbers in spite of the unrelenting weather. The day was evidence of the fun which can be had by all if DSA events are well attended by both students and staff alike.


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A THANK YOU TO OUR CRICKET DAY SPONSORS Sarah Ramsaroop Our UWI Dental Students Association Student/ Staff Cricket Fete Match, in spite of the dismal weather turned out to be a great success. It truly served its purpose of uniting the different facets of our Dental School. We owe a tremendous part of our success to the immense generosity of our faithful sponsors. These include:

GlaxoSmithKline 3M C.W. Interiors Desalination Company of Trinidad & Tobago Nestle Savi’s Classi Jewellery S.M. Jaleel Steve's Electronics We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to our sponsors and we do hope to have their continued support in our future endeavours.


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Meet the Staff Dr. Rahul Naidu With hair that seems to effortlessly fall in place and a warm smile foregoing a flawless English accent, Dr. Rahul Naidu, a composed, soft-spoken gentleman, is a stranger to none in dental school. Dr. Naidu is a senior lecturer and head of the Unit of Child Dental Health, whose passion for teaching Dental Public Health and Preventive Dentistry to undergraduates has spanned 14 years, and still continues. He holds the attention of every student in the palm of his hands with his clever jokes and masterfully hand-drawn diagrams. He is also involved in clinical supervision of dental undergraduates and interns in the Paediatric Clinic, where he is often one of the last to leave. The organization of community outreach programmes and clinical and community-based research are also neatly tucked beneath his belt. Outside of UWI dental school, Dr. Naidu is also an Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs (Faculty of Medical Sciences) and a Regional Dental Advisor Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. As if, for some strange reason, one may think that this plethora of knowledge is not put to good enough use, he has written over 30 published papers, abstracts and letters, and has given numerous presentations. Professional life aside, Dr. Naidu‟s diversity and „spreadability‟ also spill over into his personal life. He is not unfamiliar to travelling and adapting to his surroundings- he was born in India, and grew up in England where he completed all of his schoolings. His move to this country over 14 years ago triggers the question in many minds: “Why Trinidad?” Could it be the influence and magnetism of co-worker, wife, and mother of his children, Dr. Rafeek? Few persons may have known Dr. Rafeek as his „other half‟ since a professional relationship is always displayed while at work. Interestingly, she had caught his eye while they were both pursuing their BDS at the Guy‟s Hospital Dental School, University of London, and they have now been married for over 17 years. Upon graduation in 1989, and later marriage, Dr. Naidu completed his first post-graduate diploma in Dental public health at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, his post-graduate degree was the Dental Public health MSc., with Distinction at the GKT Dental Institute at the King‟s college, University of London, both in 1998. In 2006, Dr. Naidu became a member of the Faculty of Dental Surgeons at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Apart from his wife, Dr. Naidu‟s for a change from the busy city life of London, fuelled by his infatuation with the Trini lifestyle, has brought a remarkable bloke to our doorstep to be featured in “25 Questions with Dr. Naidu”.


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25 Questions with Dr. Naidu 1. Biggest pet peeve? People who pretend to know a lot but don‟t know #### 2. Favourite movie? Star Wars (Episode V). LOTR - Fellowship of the Ring comes a close second. The Underworld movies (and anything else with Kate Beckinsale in it!)

3. What do you do to unwind? Dinner and drinks and with friends. Movies. Spending time with my family. 4. What's your favourite food? Indian curries / chicken and chips 5. Favourite drinks? (alcoholic/non alcoholic). Beer, Scotch and Rum. What‟s a non-alcoholic drink? 6. What do you rank as your greatest accomplishment? Academic or otherwise. Getting my Masters degree from King‟s College London. 7. What is your secret fear? That‟s a secret 8. What is the best advice you have ever received, and from whom? “Don‟t‟ worry about how things will turn out just do the best you can”…can‟t remember who said it but it seems to make sense 9. Most embarrassing moment? Sadly there‟s been quite a few but most recently having to belly-dance in a restaurant here in Trinidad. 10. What is the happiest moment you can remember? Really hard to choose so here‟s a few. Finishing my dental undergrad course…didn‟t think I was going to make it! Getting married (the Trinidad reception party!). The birth of my children. 11. JRR Tolkien 9

If you could have dinner with one person from history, who would it be?

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November, 2008

What is something people don't know about you?

Used to play bass guitar in a rock band that played gigs in London nightclubs. 13.

If you could be one animal, what would it be?

I think animals have it pretty bad on the whole so I don‟t think I‟d want to be one 14. What influenced your decision to enter the field of dentistry, and furthermore Dental Public Health? Didn‟t put a lot of thought into choosing dentistry …just kind of ended up in it and found it was OK.

15. Why Dental Public Health? ... Really liked the idea of understanding how dentistry affects people‟s lives and the nature of health and disease in communities. Basically liked the fact that it has a completely different perspective, uses different skills from day-to-day dentistry and can make an impact way beyond the dental clinic. 16. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in your days as a student, especially on the clinic? I was assisting a fellow student who was cutting a prep. The patients saliva started intermittently squirting out from his mouth like from a garden sprinkler hose and my colleague (a six foot Sikh with a Turban) almost fell off his stool because he was laughing so much. 17. What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you in your days as a student, especially on the clinic? My cons exam patient didn‟t turn up on my Final Exam day. I had been treating him for a year, did loads of crown and bridge on him and he‟d never missed an appointment before! 18.

As a lecturer, what is the one thing you hate to see a student doing?

Not showing respect for his / her patient. 19.

Any interests/hobbies?

Playing tennis. Watching and following cricket. Reading horror / Sci-Fi novels. PSP.


If you could do something other than dentistry, what would it be?



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November, 2008

People you admire and why?

My parents who raised me in what was for them a foreign country (the UK) after emigrating from India. The school teachers and university professors who mentored me and guided my career.


Where is the one place you would like to visit?

The Mediterranean 23.

If you win the lottery tomorrow, what would you do with the money?

I really donâ€&#x;t play lotto‌.gives me the creeps.


What is the one thing in your life you would like to accomplish in the future?

Do some ground breaking research that really changes the way we practice dentistry. 25.

Is their anything in your life you would like to do over, if you could?

Would like to have traveled around the world a lot more with my wife before we had kids.


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November, 2008

Demonstration 2008: Dental Students Speak Out Denelle Furlonge

The month of October was quite eventful for the Dental Students Association and the dental school as a whole. It speaks volumes about the spirit of the School when a successful cricket competition, a heartfelt protest and fruitful negotiations can all take place within one week. It says even more that at the end of it all Students and Staff are still amicable and are working hand in hand to achieve the goal of a proper education for the future Dental Professionals. For those who aren‟t aware of how it all went down here‟s a ball by ball of the protest starting with the history, the treatment and the prognosis in true dental school style. History: May 2008 a meeting with the guild of students, discussions at the academic board meeting on July 1st, and the submission of a letter to the director of the dental school, dean and principal of UWI, the Minister of Health, and Minister at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education requesting their intervention in the ongoing problems at the dental school – lack of air condition, shortened clinical hours, fewer instruments, poor water supply (and the list went on). July 24th 2008, the DSA met the dean of the faculty, the director and polyclinic coordinator of the dental school and the guild president. Their problems were put forward and solutions were promised. After three months of no apparent action the student body decided to raise their concerns in a more visible manner. Monday 20th October the year fourth and fifth unanimously agreed that they will express their concern the following day. Messages forwarded to the student body garnered support of the impending action

Treatment: Tuesday 21st October the students assembled in the phantom head lab. Mixed feelings filled the atmosphere, some of anxiety and some of frustration. They began the strike and made their way to the front of the dental school, walking through the polyclinic chanting their demands and pleas. The students marched in the sun with placards in hand, chanting loudly. Media representatives from CCN TV6 and CNC 3 news channels were present to cover the protest and interviews were done with the president of the DSA. A decision was then made to go to the deputy dean's office as the dean was on vacation. The deputy dean, Professor Ali was then met by the disgruntled students but it was soon decided by the students, that it was necessary to show the her the polyclinic. This would have allowed them to better explain and display the reasons for their distress directly. Thus, they headed back to the polyclinic where they eagerly awaited the professors to join them. A representative from the North


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Central Regional Health Authority, Mr. Adesh Deonarine and the deputy dean, Professor Ali assembled in one of the cubicles on the polyclinic and the students began to voice their grievances. At first the students relayed their problems but as time passed, they became dissatisfied even more because it seemed as though the meeting was of no benefit and their solutions seemed to be too far in the distance. They were growing weary of being assured with promises of "next six weeks" to solve their quandary. They wanted answers and they reached a joint decision to go to higher authorities. So, they left the dental school and made their way to UWI main campus to speak with the deputy principal. Professor Reddock explained that the tendering process for the air conditioning contract would close on Thursday 23rd October, and promised that the students would receive word from her office by Friday 31 October. In addition to these efforts, the dental students still chose to go to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education (STTE). Wednesday 22nd October, the students gathered again, this time, the group consisted of more third, fourth and fifth year students. They stood outside the building of the Ministry of STTE in silent protest holding their placards, continuing even with the heavy downpour of rain. They were able to meet with the permanent secretary (PS) and again raise their issues highlighting the problems with the UWI/NCRHA interface. The PS understood the urgency of the matter and the students were advised to form a committee to oversee various aspects of the NCRHA/UWI agreement. She also agreed to consult with the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health and to raise their concerns, as the school of dentistry falls under both ministries.

Prognosis: Friday 24th October, the DSA was busy conferencing with the deputy dean, heads of the academic staff and also with the principal at separate meetings. The deputy dean attended to their issues and informed them that the tendering process for the air conditioning installation was closed and that an appropriate th company was contracted for the undertaking. They were expected to begin installation on Monday 25 and the work would be completed within one week. It was explained that the NCRHA would not be supplying the power for the split units consequently, UWI would be paying for it. Three x-ray units were approved and provided and installation could be done within one week, however no date was given as to when the units would be placed on the clinic. Furthermore, the NCRHA would be responsible for providing the necessary filters to remove the sediment from the pipelines. The bleeder valves which would remove air from the pipelines were already acquired and 1000 ft of piping were already replaced with 300 ft to be completed. The date as to when this would be finished was unknown.


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Subsequently, the DSA informed the heads of the dental clinics and academic staff that the student body would not be returning to clinic until the AC became fully functional. This decision was supported by members of staff, and so clinics were cancelled for the following week with the situation being reassessed on Friday 31st of October. In the interim, it was decided that classes were to be held for the entire week with the provision of fans, thus, maximizing on lectures and hence increasing clinic hours when the issues were resolved. To fix the matter of the dirty water, it was suggested that large containers of filtered water be set up for communal use. As for the shortage of consumables, the director and polyclinic coordinator said that any shortage of required consumable on the clinic or lab be brought to the attention of the DSA immediately so that the director's office can be notified. Also, the issue of intern salaries was focused on and the dean of the faculty was dealing with the matter whereby the Ministry of Health would pay the dental interns and not UWI, much like the medical interns. The meeting with the principal was the last to be held and he shared in the students‟ frustration with the problems raised, and the duration of the dispute between UWI and the NCRHA. He informed the students that arrangements were being made with respect to the split unit installation. They were also informed of a four sided committee with UWI, NCRHA, the Ministry of STTE and the Ministry of Health to deal with the management of the medical faculty. The idea of an Oral Health Fair/National Oral Health Fair was presented to him and he welcomed the initiative. So yes, changes are happening within the dental school. All it took was for the student body to stand together. Their voices in unison were heard much louder than just a few in a crowd. Additionally, it must be remembered that the staff were at all times supportive of the actions of the students and no penalties have been meted out to the student body for their action. In fact staff members have gone to great lengths to facilitate the completion of the necessary requirements for the proper education of their charges. As they have lived up to their responsibility so too must the dental students. All should be committed, disciplined and diligent. In a system where such support is freely given it becomes easier for students to achieve their goals and meet their education needs. It must be remembered that a University Education is not like the spoon feeding of secondary school. It is what we the student body make of it. Yes we stood up for our rights. We acted professionally and courteously and were treated as professionals. We are now poised to enter into a new era of our dental education if we take the right steps. As we move forward let us attend our classes and clinics in a professional, disciplined manner. Let us lift our standard and inspire each other AND our lecturers. UWI dental school is not a third world institution. We are not third world people. The way we handled this crisis is proof enough and crises which arise in the future will echo that. Let us therefore with our future actions make a statement that no one can ignore. The headlines should say boldly: “UWI dental school is alive and well. It stands as beacon in student centred education.”


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Blended learning: An ideal combination for general dental practice Dr Brian Millar

King‟s College London Dental Institute is the largest Dental Institute in Europe with its wide range of teaching programmes. Most popular of the postgraduate programmes are the blended learning degrees. Blended learning is described as ‘a learning solution that incorporates a mix of online and face-toface elements’. Busy practitioners can choose their time and place to study the academic components of the courses online and focus on the face-to-face intensive courses for the hands-on learning experience. These residential components are available annually in the UK and India. The MSc Advanced General Dental Practice (AGDP) is aimed at dental practitioners who wish to develop their clinical skills and expand on BDS level knowledge. It covers a range of topics from clinical skills to practice management to enable dentists to run a successful and rewarding dental practice. The MClinDent in Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics (FRP) is our most popular programme and covers more advanced skills. It is recognised worldwide as an additional postgraduate degree. It begins alongside the AGDP programme but goes on to train dentists in managing advanced clinical problems such as severe tooth wear, TMJ dysfunction, aesthetic challenges, endodontics and implant restoration. Similar programmes are currently available in Dental Public Health (DPH) and Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology (DMFR). In the coming year we are launching MSc‟s in Aesthetic Dentistry, Removable Prosthetics, Maxillofacial Prostheses and Dental Implantology. The mode of delivery for all our blended programmes has been designed to enable dentists from all around the world to remain in dental practice while training, allowing them to maintain clinical contact and establish a dental practice using skills learnt on the programme. The residential courses of approximately 9 days duration, held at one of our training centres, will provide the supporting face-to-face tuition in clinical skills. The training centres are in London and India, both providing the same programme taught by King‟s staff and lead to the same King‟s MSc degree. Examinations are held in the student‟s home country with one written paper per module. The success of the programmes comes from the balance between interactive online content, which includes ready access to the King‟s College London e-library, and the intensive annual 9 day block faceto-face teaching courses which provide the hands-on elements essential to a dental programme. Master‟s courses also include one-to–one tutoring for the final year of study. The MSc programme runs over 3 years (4 years for MClinDent FRP) through part-time training. For any dentist not wishing to sign up for the full MSc (180 European credits) or MClinDent (360 European credits) then it is possible to attend for a shorter course leading to a Certificate (60 credits) or Diploma (120 credits). The closing date for applications was 31 August 2008 for entry in January 2009; however late applications are being considered while places remain on the January 2009 UK intake and the February 2009 intake on the India residential programme. Applications can be made for 2010. All courses are quality assured, independently verified and are taught by experts from the King‟s College London Dental Institute and other centres of excellence around the UK.


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Scholarships are available and further information about the course is available on our website (below), from where an application form can also be downloaded. For further information please see: or email Dr Brian Millar BDS, FDSRCS, PhD Director of Distance Learning, Senior Lecturer in Primary Dental Care, Consultant in Restorative Dentistry. Specialist in Prosthodontics


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Please feel free to submit any questions, articles and comments to the editors at We welcome your suggestions and contributions. Tell us what you would like to see in this newsletter!! Please visit our website for the latest updates, as well as every copy of The Fill In The UWI Dental Students Association can be contacted at Lookout for our next issue!


The Fill In Issue 6  

November 2008

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