Naoya Ohara, DDS, PhD
Greetings from the Dean of the School of Dentistry
Okayama University has a long history, and it is a comprehensive university that includes 10 faculties. These faculties include those related to the area of health, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. In the field of health sciences, the faculties of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy are included. The Dental School was established in 1979. Within the system of national universities, it is the newest Dental School. Both education and research are put into practice at this faculty. The admission modalities include the general entrance exam, the school recommendation type entrance exam, the entrance exam for foreign students, the international bachelor entrance exam and the bachelor's entrance exam (2nd-year transference).
The Dental School emphasizes "providing state-of-the-art dental care to the general public" and "research and development of advanced dental care". Its main objective is to train human resources in the field of dentistry at the highest level through education and research. Of course, we train dentists who can contribute to the local community, but we also train human resources who can expand their fields of activity such as university professors, research staff, administrative staff, and even professionals capable of offering their services abroad. We are reforming and improving the educational curriculum every day with the aim of fostering the training of "practicing oral care professionals" to cooperate globally. In turn, we promote project-based learning and active learning for practical skills for dentists in the new age. Additionally, we are developing a new educational curriculum in cooperation with local dental associations. Also, we aim to provide advanced dentistry related to research and education and strengthen multidisciplinary cooperation, medical support, and perioperative management, through close cooperation with the Medical and the Pharmaceutical Schools and with our University Hospital to create a super-aging society. We continue our various efforts to develop dentists who have a broad perspective that can meet the expectations of the 21st century.
We also emphasize networks with universities abroad. The short-term study abroad program (ODAPUS), which was the first to be launched nationally, has a 20-year history and more than 200 students have studied abroad so far. In some years, up to 60% of undergraduate students were dispatched. Since 2012, we have started “ODAPUS for foreign students” to allows exchanges with international students from our partner universities with the aim that, by interacting directly with international students, students can acquire a sense of globalization to improve their practical skills. Some international students experienced ODAPUS has come back to Okayama University to be a PhD student and pursue career development.
After graduating from the Dental School, our students can also enter graduate school where they can study advanced dentistry and become clinical specialists. With a clinically focused program, students from our faculty can also aspire to obtain a PhD degree and specialist diploma at the same time. We are also working on continuing education after graduation as dental professionals. For this education to be smooth and seamless with the local community and abroad, we are renewing the functions of the Dental School. This project will be completed in two years and, in this way our faculty will be a new place for continuous learning.
Graduates of Okayama University Dental School have acquired medical knowledge, skills, and attitudes based on international medical standards, and are highly valued and active. Let's all study at Okayama University Dental School, acquire practical skills that lead the world in the field of health care, and aim to become active dental doctors not only in the region but also in the world!