Department of Dental Diagnostic Science has worldwide impact
They come from India, China, Japan and Australia, from Ghana, France, Canada and Norway, from Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, and many other countries. They learn new clinical techniques, study under research mentors, and obtain advanced certifications and degrees. International visitors strengthen the Health Science Center with their presence throughout the year and provide the university with a worldwide perspective.
The Department of Dental Diagnostic Science is saying farewell to three of its guests from abroad and greeting three new ones. The six visiting students are Samer Bsoul of Jordan, Dr. Elismauro Mendonga of Brazil, Abdulghani Al-Hamdan and Khalid Al-Zaid of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Manon Paquette of Canada and Dr. Diane Flint of the U.S. Air Force (most recently stationed in Japan).
Dr. Mendonga, who is finishing a research fellowship, plans to import expertise he learned on digital dental imaging equipment to his university in Goiania, a city in the central Brazilian state of Goias. Ph.D.-trained in oral and maxillofacial radiology, he traveled thousands of miles to San Antonio to work with Drs. Marden Alder, Pirkka Nummikoski and Brent Dove, internationally known faculty in dental diagnostic science. While at the Health Science Center, he has used advanced software developed by Dr. Dove to test for the presence of dental caries, or tooth decay.
"Iíve appreciated the opportunity to use an array of modern equipment," he said. "My university sent me here on a scholarship from the Brazilian government. The university will likely purchase the equipment on which I have studied."
Dental diagnostic science is Bsoulís third UTHSC department. In addition to ongoing projects with mentors Dr. Sherry Abboud, pathology (in tooth eruption and bone), and Dr. Hanna Abboud, medicine/nephrology (in kidney disease), he is pursuing research in the subspecialty of oral medicine with Dr. Geza Terezhalmy, dental diagnostic science.
Dr. Flint, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and a graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry, is starting a two-year advanced certificate program in dental radiology. "I was sent here from Japan for this program," she said.
Dr. Paquette, who holds a D.M.D. from the University of Montreal, is beginning work on a masterís degree in oral and maxillofacial radiology with a subspecialty in oral radiology. She plans to return to the Montreal faculty in 2002 as a professor of radiology.
Al-Hamdan and Al-Zaid have wrapped up one year of training in dental radiographic principles with Dr. John Preece, interim chair of dental diagnostic science. Al-Hamdan and Al-Zaid are adding to techniques they have learned through years of employment on the dental staff of the Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco.
Dr. Preece counts it a privilege to have worked with his Saudi preceptors for the past year. "This is what makes education funóbeing able to meet and share from your experiences to help others with a need," he said. "When Abdulghani and Khalid return to Saudi Arabia, they will be prepared to assume positions of responsibility greater than they enjoyed before our time together.
"It is wonderful to have such an international impact as a department," he added. "To have an opportunity to work with wonderful professionals from so many diverse cultures provides a lot of Ďintangibleí personal rewards such as lasting friendships and the opportunity for future international collaborative activities."