100% success for first cohort of Faculty of Dentistry RCSI - Specialist Paediatric Dentistry trainees in Qatar

The Faculty of Dentistry (FoD) is delighted to announce that the first cohort of Qatari Residents in Paediatric Dentistry have successfully completed their three year training programme and have passed the FFD (Paeds) RCSI Examination.

The FoD was established in 1963 with the core mission of advancing the science, art and practice of dentistry by the promotion of education, study and research. As part of this mission, the FoD has been in collaboration with the Dental Division of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar, to design and deliver a three-year full time specialty program in Paediatric Dentistry. The curriculum for this program was designed in Dublin, and was modelled on existing international programs in Paediatric Dentistry. From the outset, the aim was that residents would be prepared to sit the FFD (Paeds) RCSI at completion of training.

Working with local accredited specialists in HMC, the FoD designed a modular programme for the academic component of training. Modules were delivered in a blended fashion, with teaching being delivered locally and by streaming from the FoD. Ongoing educational support was delivered to trainees and local tutors by staff within the FoD. This teaching was supported by regular programme visits as well as intensive courses (both didactic and practical teaching) delivered in Qatar by FoD staff, as well as speakers affiliated to the FoD. Course teachers included Fellows from the FoD core team, along with affiliated international experts in the UK and North America.

In terms of the FFD examination held on 1st & 2nd April 2020, this examination was scheduled to take place in Dublin but due to the restrictions on travel the FoD decided to explore the possibility of completing the assessment process using secure online technology, with Examiners and Candidates in different time zones throughout the process.

The FFD Paeds examination consists of 4 parts:

  1. Two three hour written essay papers
  2. Simulated cases (1 hour)
  3. Case Presentations (45 minutes)
  4. Viva (30 minutes)

Multiple online practice sessions were carried out with our two examiners in Edinburgh and Galway respectively. The examination was coordinated from Dublin by a senior faculty member with the assistance of the FoD office staff. A local senior staff member who had previous experience with RCSI examinations was appointed as invigilator in Qatar. Extremely detailed instructions were sent and the technology was tested on a number of occasions. All examination material for each of the sections was sent by encryption and the same process was used for return of the examination papers for marking.  On the second day, the Simulated cases commenced with each candidate viewing the PowerPoint Cases for 30 minutes where upon they were examined online. This process was repeated for the Case Presentations and then finally for the Vivas.

Each Candidate was marked independently by the examiners and at the end of the examination the overall marks were tabulated and forwarded to SARA. It is important to stress that this examination corresponds exactly to the examination that would have taken place in Dublin with the same process and the same exacting standards being applied.

The Faculty of Dentistry believes that this is a historic occasion since it is the first time that such an examination has been conducted successfully in this manner, with examiners and candidates 3000 miles from each other. Where practicable, it fully intends to extend this method of delivery to other examination centres over the coming months.