JCU dental graduates top in the bush
James Cook University graduates are working in rural and remote areas; the next best university has five graduates working in the regions.
JCU’s dental and medical schools were set up as a way to get more health professionals working in rural and remote settings. Head of JCU Dentistry, Professor Neil Meredith, said the result validated the dental school’s ethos.
“It’s commonly said that there are too many dentists in Australia, but they are completely maldistributed. There is a chronic shortage in rural and remote areas.”
Professor Meredith said JCU’s success started with a selection process favouring local candidates. “Then all the way through there’s an emphasis on placements in rural and remote and Indigenous communities,” he said.
“This is important because the students of today are the health care providers of tomorrow and an awareness of the special needs of patients in remote areas helps to create a lifetime of passion and enthusiasm.”
Students are also participating in a program that sees between 700 and 1,000 people a week receive concessional and low-cost dental care at JCU’s Cairns campus.
Professor Meredith said there was a one hundred percent employment rate for the 80 new dentists JCU produces each year.
About the JCU Dental School Bachelor of Dental Surgery
JCU Dental School offers the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program, a five-year, undergraduate degree that provides students with the knowledge and skills they require to become a competent practitioner of dentistry. The dental program aims to promote improved oral health care delivery, particularly to people living in rural, remote and tropical regions of Australia. The curriculum integrates the basic sciences with dental clinical sciences and preventative oral health strategies.
Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Next available intake: February 2017
Duration: 5 years