Yielding research in oral health
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.”