Spring 2006 Table of Contents
International Partners in Health
North African and Middle-East Students Talk About Life at NYUCD

From left: Dr. Nasreddin Terfas of Libya; Dr. Wadih El Hachem, Lebanon; Dr. Amal Kharbouch, Morocco; Dr. Moukhamed Khabijbek, Syria; Dr. Ahmad Kutkut, Jordan.

They have backgrounds ranging from recent dental school graduates to practitioners with years of experience. But despite their differences, students from countries in North Africa and the Middle East who were interviewed recently about their experiences in the Advanced Study Programs for International Dentists all sounded a single theme. They all talked about finding a new professional self-confidence and optimism as a result of their studies at NYUCD.

Dr. Ahmad Kutkut, a native of Ammon, Jordan, recently completed the two-year Advanced Program in Implant Dentistry for International Dentists. A graduate of Jordan University who did a general dentistry internship at Ammon’s Al Basheer Hospital, Dr. Kutkut says he was particularly pleased to have so many patients to treat, far more than in his previous years of training. “I know that when I open my private practice in Ammon, I’ll have a competitive edge because I learned to do bone and tissue grafts for implant cases.”

Dr. Amal Kharbouch, who received her DDS degree from Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco, completed the Advanced Study Program in Orthodontics last year, and is currently a teaching fellow in orthodontics. “I found exactly what I was looking for in coming to NYUCD,” she says, “a sense of freedom, openness to new ideas, and the chance to use the latest technology to treat a diverse group of patients.”

Prior to coming to NYUCD, Dr. Wael Oweity, a second-year student in the Advanced Study Program in Implant Dentistry, was a general dentist in Damascus, Syria. “Learning implants makes me look at patients in a whole new way, and lets me treat them more effectively and predictably,” he says.

Dr. Wadih El Hachem, a 2003 graduate of the DDS program at St. Joseph University in Beirut, said his training in the Advanced Program in Implant Dentistry, which he recently completed, will enable him to add a valuable new service when he returns to Beirut to join his family’s practice, which includes his father, a general dentist, and his mother, an orthodontist.

“Students in the Advanced Programs for International Dentists make a lot of sacrifices to come here, and we bend over backwards to help them get the education and training they came for,” says Associate Dean for International Affairs and Development Dr. Stuart M. Hirsch. “At the same time, we treat them as equals, as partners in solving patient-care problems. The combination seems to work.”