International Partners in Health
Libyan Dentists' Enrollment in Advanced Programs Rises Sevenfold

From left: Dr. Hosam Alrqiq, Dr. Omar Ezarrugh, Dr. Thamer Musbah

The normalization of diplomatic relations in 2006 between the United States and Libya has made it easier for Libyans to obtain visas to study in the U.S. and has contributed to a dramatic increase in Libyan dentists' enrollment in NYUCD's Advanced Programs for International Dentists. There are currently 23 Libyan dentists enrolled in the program, 20 more than the three who enrolled last year. All receive full scholarships from the Libyan Ministry of Higher Education.

Most of the 20 new students learned about NYUCD first-hand from the three who had enrolled last year, Dr. Omar Ezarrugh, Dr. Thamer Musbah, and Dr. Hosam Alrqiq, all from Libya's capital of Tripoli.

"When dentists back home called to inquire about studying abroad, we recommended NYUCD for the practical, real-world experience offered with many different kinds of patient cases," said Dr. Ezarrugh, who is enrolled in the three-year Oral Surgery program jointly accredited by NYUCD and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

"Many of the dentists back home were impressed to hear that I was given the opportunity to treat patients in the very first week of my program," Dr. Ezarrugh added.

"The experience I've had treating so many different kinds of cases will give me more confidence in deciding on treatment strategies when I return to continue the oral surgery career I began in the Tripoli Medical Center, Libya's largest hospital."

Dr. Musbah said that the Comprehensive Dentistry program, which he completed in 2009, and the Oral Medicine and Special Needs Dentistry program, which he expects to complete in 2010, have helped him to both improve his technique and grow professionally. "My exposure to professors from a range of different disciplines in the Comprehensive program helped me develop my own special styles and techniques, and my work with medically complex and developmentally disabled patients in the Oral Medicine and Special Needs Dentistry program has made me a stronger, more well-rounded dentist."

Dr. Alrqiq, Orthodontics '09 and Pediatric Dentistry '10, said: "I came to NYUCD seeking advanced clinical training and real-world experience to complement an MS in Dentistry in Dental Public Health that I had recently earned at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Treating children from many different ethnic and racial backgrounds in the NYUCD pediatric clinic, on the mobile dental van's visits to Head Start programs at New York City public schools, and on an outreach mission to an underserved area in upstate Hudson, New York, are practical experiences I can draw on when I return to Libya to teach public health dentistry."

In addition to Drs. Ezarrugh, Musbah, and Alrqiq, the Libyan dentists enrolled in the Advanced Programs in 2009–10 are: Dr. Ahmed Matri, from Alshati, Libya, Endodontics, '10; Dr. Amaddin Abdullah Alghzwi, Tripoli, Esthetics, '10; Dr. Elhadi Faraj Kadoshi, Zliten, Comprehensive Dentistry, '10; Dr. Eman Othman, Zawai, Orthodontics, '10; Dr. Fathi M. Elgaddari, Benghazi, Implant Dentistry, '11; Dr. Ghazi Benkura, Tripoli, Comprehensive Dentistry, '10; Dr. Hamza Sharif, Khoms, Comprehensive Dentistry, '10; Dr. Hayat Omar Abood, Yefren, Orthodontics, '10; Dr. Hossam Ragab Harisha, Tripoli, Comprehensive Dentistry, '10; Dr. Khaled Elhenshiri, Tripoli, Comprehensive Dentistry, '10; Dr. Mohamed Hawidi, ArRyaina, Oral Surgery/RCSI, '12; Dr. Osama Khalifa, Baniwalid, Oral Sugery/RCSI, '12; Dr. Salahaldeen Ghamid, Baniwalid, Orthodontics, '10; Dr. Shehabeddin Felfel, Tripoli, Oral Surgery, '10; Dr. Ziad Nasr, Hoon, Oral Surgery/RCSI, '12; Dr. Khalid Abdullaziz Azzouz, Tripoli, Oral Medicine, '10; Dr. Mohamed Jedeh, Zentan, Comprehensive Dentistry, '10; Mohamed Mansour Ben Hakoma, Tripoli, Endodontics, '10; Dr. Moid N.R. Karwaa, Tripoli, Esthetic Dentistry, '10; and Dr. Noureddin Omer Khazam, Tripoli, Oral Surgery/RCSI, '12.