Future of Dental Graduates in PAKISTAN

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Future of Dental Graduates 
in PAKISTAN
Dr. Sidra Aslam
Mphil Oral biology

I still remember the day my final year BDS result came out & I officially became a Dentist. It was both a moment of joy and pride for me & my parents especially my father who himself is a well reputed pediatric surgeon. Little did I know that the real struggle of practical life has just started? In Pakistan students are made to believe that their only aim is getting a degree and passing out of the medical school. Nobody consoles them about the hardships they are going to encounter in the period thereafter.

I belong to a country where opportunities for post-graduation of dental students are very scanty in terms of Masters in basic dental subjects. Dentistry has always been neglected as compared to the medical sciences. This results in fresh dental graduates getting frustrated and depressed regarding their future endeavors. In whole Punjab there are only two government universities that are currently offering Masters in basic dental sciences while the number of doctors that graduate every year is 14,000 out of which the number of dentists in Punjab province is 923 according to a survey done in 2014. Currently these two government institutes are offering masters in three basic dental subjects with a minimum of 5 seats per program. This leaves us to a situation where in 923 dentists are competing against a minimum of 30 seats. This surely is a tough competition. Not to mention 90% of these students that apply for admission in Master’s program pass the entrance test but could not get admission due to the limited capacity of the government to accommodate them. Had there been more government universities offering post graduate dental programs there would be less doubts among the graduating students regarding their future ventures.

This is the reason majority of dentists after graduation prefer settling abroad due to a promising future. According to a survey the country currently has only has one dentist for every 200,000 people, while according to the WHO, Pakistan should have one dentist for every 20,000. Government should consider this matter seriously before all the future cream of the country fly off abroad to build a better future for their generations. More government universities should be made with priority being given to post graduation in basic dental subjects with highly qualified faculty.

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