Yield­ing re­search in oral health

New Straits Times - - Higher ED - ROZANA SANI Gha­naru­pan Subra­ma­niam,

STUDY­ING den­tistry does not only mean learn­ing the pro­fes­sional skills re­quired to pro­vide oral healthcare ser­vices for so­ci­ety, it is also means gain­ing re­search ex­po­sure on cur­rent trends and is­sues as well as com­mu­ni­cat­ing the find­ings in oral health — both at the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional level.

Lin­coln Univer­sity Col­lege (LUC) den­tistry stu­dent Gha­naru­pan Subra­ma­niam, 26, is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing this first hand.

Hav­ing re­cently won the na­tional level In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for Den­tal Re­search Joseph Lis­ter Award for New In­ves­ti­ga­tors 2017, the fi­nal year stu­dent who hails from Kulim, Kedah, is pre­par­ing to take part in the IADR-SEA (South­east Asia) Awards to be held in Taipei, Tai­wan in Au­gust.

The IADR Joseph Lis­ter Award for New In­ves­ti­ga­tors is part of the IADR Awards Com­pe­ti­tion, cre­ated to award young in­ves­ti­ga­tors with orig­i­nal re­search in oral dis­ease pre­ven­tion or oral health pro­mo­tion.

At coun­try level, Gha­naru­pan pre­sented a poster and talked through his re­search ti­tled Per­ceived Level of Stress and Emo­tional In­tel­li­gence Be­tween Den­tal and Med­i­cal Stu­dents in a Pri­vate In­sti­tu­tion. His pre­sen­ta­tion clinched a cash prize award of US$600 (RM2,600) spon­sored by John­son and John­son Con­sumer Inc.

In his re­search, Gha­naru­pan said that he in­ves­ti­gated into the cor­re­la­tions be­tween the per­ceived stress lev­els of both med­i­cal and den­tistry stu­dents and their emo­tional in­tel­li­gence.

“It has al­ways been said that med­i­cal and den­tistry pro­grammes are stress­ful,” he said. “My re­search was to look at how stu­dents with high emo­tional in­tel­li­gence han­dle emo­tions un­der stress­ful sit­u­a­tions.”

The ob­jec­tive of the re­search was to de­ter­mine whether emo­tional in­tel­li­gence makes any dif­fer­ence in help­ing peo­ple to han­dle their stress lev­els.

Gha­naru­pan said his re­search took about eight months to com­plete and it was also writ­ten into the form of a re­search re­port which is a pre­req­ui­site for grad­u­a­tion.

“The con­clu­sion that I found was that, although the level of stress of den­tistry stu­dents was much higher than the med­i­cal stu­dents, there was no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the level of emo­tional in­tel­li­gence,” he said. “More work needs to be car­ried out.” Den­tistry stu­dent,

Lin­coln Univer­sity Col­lege (LUC)

Gha­naru­pan hopes to carry out more re­search into this area of in­ter­est to find a so­lu­tion that could bet­ter help med­i­cal and den­tistry stu­dents to han­dle their stress lev­els.

At the coun­try-level com­pe­ti­tion, par­tic­i­pants had only 10 min­utes to present their posters on their re­search and an­other five min­utes to an­swer ques­tions from the judges. The for­mat will be the same in Taipei.

“As den­tists, we ex­pect them to be able to com­mu­ni­cate well with their pa­tients. This is why we also em­pha­sise a lot on de­vel­op­ing their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills,” said LUC’s Fac­ulty of Den­tistry dean Pro­fes­sor Dr Rahimah Ab­dul Kadir. “Den­tistry stu­dents at Lin­coln are taught to be metic­u­lous and cre­ative from their early years. We ex­pose them to projects where they are re­quired to work as teams.”

Apart from Gha­naru­pan, the Malaysian Sec­tion In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for Den­tal Re­search will also be rep­re­sented by Univer­siti Ke­bangsaan Malaysia den­tistry stu­dent Siti Nur­shak­i­nah Az­man in Taipei. She bagged an award in the same cat­e­gory for her poster and re­search.

It has al­ways been said that med­i­cal and den­tistry pro­grammes are stress­ful.”

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