Vocational Training

 

Dr. Shivaughn Marchan

Graduates of The School of Dentistry, The University of the West Indies (Trinidad Campus) can opt to pursue a mandatory, full-time, 12-month, vocational, training programme that is recognised by the Dental Council of Trinidad and Tobago (DCTT) prior to the granting of full registration by the DCTT. During this time, the DCTT grants the trainees temporary registration.

 

Components of Vocational Training

This vocational training is administered by The School of Dentistry, with the trainees having rotations through the disciplines of comprehensive adult patient care (polyclinic), oral surgery, child dental health, emergency dental treatment and an outreach community clinic. All these rotations, with the exception of the outreach clinic, occur at the teaching clinics of The School of Dentistry.  The supervising staff would normally be clinical faculty (part time or full time) at the School of Dentistry.

Rotations

The majority of the clinical experience is of comprehensive adult patient care, where the trainees are assigned patients throughout the year and, are expected to exam, diagnose, formulate treatment plans, and carry out treatment, with particular emphasis on those patients who require complex or more advanced restorative treatment. Treatment provided includes, but is not limited to, the management of caries, diseases of the dental pulp and periodontal diseases, provision of simple plastic restorations, provision of crowns and bridges and other types of indirect restorations, and provision of complete and partial dentures.

During the child dental health experience, the trainee has the opportunity to enhance competencies in the clinical management of paediatric dental patients. This rotation involves primarily the management of patients with dental emergencies, e.g. acute pulpitis/dental abscess, dental trauma and special needs patients. Smaller numbers of patients requiring orthodontic assessment and treatment and management of oral pathologies in child dental patients are also seen and treated under the close supervision of orthodontic faculty and oral diseases/surgery faculty.

The oral surgery rotation allows the trainees to gain additional competence in exodontia and dento-alveolar surgery and exposure to surgical management of diseases in the oro-facial region. In addition to partaking in clinics on a daily basis, the trainees are responsible as the first line of call for patients that may present to the general hospital services during non-clinic hours. Trainees participate in patient assessment in the oral surgery clinics, preparation of patients for oral surgery, GA consultation clinics, review of post-surgical patients, assisting in major oral surgery procedures, and performing minor oral surgical procedures, such as supervised removal of third molars and restorative treatment of pediatric dental patients under GA.

Both the emergency rotation and the outreach rotation allow the trainee to gain additional competence in the management of patients for episodic or sporadic care. Treatment provided includes, but is not limited to, exodontia (simple and complicated), emergency endodontic therapy, provision of temporary/sedative restorations, and management of dento-alveolar trauma.

Didactic Components

In addition to the clinical component of the vocational training, didactic sessions are compulsory. Non-clinical topics, such as time management, understanding taxes, logistics of practice set-up and practice management issues, are dealt with either as lectures or  seminar type sessions with visiting  professionals. Clinical topics are dealt with by overseas clinical specialists via the video-teleconferencing facility at the Tele-Health Unit. Most topics covered involve a more in-depth examination of objectives covered in the undergraduate teaching curriculum. As part of these didactic sessions, during the course of the year, each intern (vocational trainee) is required to present two case presentations of actual work completed on their respective patients.

Dr Shivaughn Marchan

Lecturer, Conservative Dentistry and

Coordinator Vocational Training.