Identifying and assessing competencies for an entry level graduate in the faculty of dentistry, damascus university: approaches, lessons learned and evidence provided

Mayssoon Dashash

The curriculum in the Faculty of Dentistry, Damascus University is traditional. It does not develop intellectual, transferable and general skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and communication. Concern has been recently raised about competency of students in the faculty. It is important to define the new dental curriculum in terms of competences required at an entry level graduate. Several approaches and studies were undertaken to identify essential needed competencies in the areas of dentistry before graduation. All information and data collected were organized to form a list of 37 competencies which represents the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes needed in ethical and behavioral, personal, professional and clinical domains. It was utilized to assess the attitudes of graduates towards current curriculum delivered. A questionnaire was developed to assess the attitude of graduates towards current curriculum delivered. Findings indicated lack of some essential skills which were not well considered in the current curriculum. There is a need to reform the curriculum in order to produce a competent, socially sensitive practitioner who adheres to the highest standards of professionalism and can effectively improve oral health care in society.

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