UBC’s Faculty of Dentistry has a long history with the Asia Pacific region. It has both placed and received visiting students and professors from Japan and Korea, placed general practice residents to rotations in Cambodia and Vietnam, and sent students, faculty and alumni volunteers on a variety of dental missions throughout the region.
Service learning and cultural competency are emerging concepts in dental and dental hygiene education. Through these experiences, students recognize their responsibility to provide care to people in need, and develop social awareness and professional responsibility. Off-campus sites such as those in the Asia Pacific region increase the diversity of patients treated, and enhance students’ understanding of the range of oral health needs presented by people with limited access to care.