Best of both worlds

MENTION the word dentistry in Malaysia these days and one name one will surely come to mind – Penang International Dental College (PIDC) – which has one of the country's largest dental faculties. Since 2006, PIDC which is based in the heart of Butterworth has been producing dentists with high standards of professionalism, integrity and caring attitudes. This is evident from the feedback received through the graduates' survey from their current employers. Aspiring dentists can also enjoy the best of both worlds at PIDC – quality education and training with very affordable tuition fees.

PIDC offers the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) on a twinning platform in collaboration with leading Indian education group Vinayaka Missions University (VMU). Students undergo years 1 and 2 pre-clinical studies at the PIDC Salem campus in South India and continue with years 3, 4 and 5 of clinical studies in the Butterworth campus. The first batch of dentists graduated from PIDC in April 2011, marking a proud milestone in the college's progress. The well-equipped clinical facility of PIDC is located at NB Tower in Butterworth. It has 75 dental chairs and has been fully operational as a dental hospital and teaching facility offering seven specialties in dental studies for the past nine years.

PIDC has been established to become a centre of excellence in training globally competent oral health care professionals. To accomplish this vision, PIDC has invested in competent and experienced teaching staff dedicated in the mission of producing dental graduates who emulate the highest standard of patient centred care and acquire advanced knowledge and skills to meet the changing needs of the community. PIDC has so far contributed to the development of human capital and functions as a major dental referral centre in the region.

PIDC is the first private dental institution to be accredited for five years by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA). The BDS programme here is fully-accredited for the maximum period of five years (Malaysia's first) by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). It is the first private dental college to be given a five-star rating by the MyQuest. The degree awarded by VMU is recognised by the Public Services Department (JPA) and Malaysian Dental Council (MDC).

Managing director of PIDC, Datuk Seri Dr S. Sharavanan said PIDC is well positioned to be an education and dental centre of excellence, contributing to the government's vision of making Malaysia an educational hub for the region.

"PIDC currently trains 75 students every year and plays a significant role in contributing to the development of human capital and function as a major dental referral centre in the region.

"We have also submitted a request to enhance the intake capacity of our college in line with our resources and capabilities." said Sharavanan.

According to Sharavanan, the fee structure for the BDS programme at PIDC is one of the most affordable programmes in Malaysia.

PIDC has been attracting a good number of patients and the students have commenced their clinical training in earnest. PIDC has also secured the usage of the Penang General Hospital for training its students in the area of clinical medicine and surgery postings. PIDC Penang has attended to 29,819 new cases and a total of 123,248 repeat cases as of January 2017.

"PIDC plans to enhance standards in dental education where students of diverse backgrounds will have the opportunity to study dentistry at an affordable cost," said Sharavanan.

As a leading dental institution, PIDC hopes to bridge the gap by producing more quality graduates who shall pave the way to eventually become specialists in the various disciplines of dentistry.