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Delegation from China Explores Innovations at UMSOD

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Written by Adam Zewe

Six visitors from China's second largest dental school spent two weeks at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) learning about innovative educational techniques.

The delegation included two faculty members and four students from the School of Stomatology at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. They sat in on classroom lectures, observed students treating patients in the clinics and toured research laboratories.

The students were impressed by the advanced technology their peers at UMSOD utilize on a daily basis. Tingting Wei was particularly interested in the online lecture-streaming capabilities of Mediasite. She enjoyed watching lectures on her iPhone. Zhijun Wang was surprised by the wide range of dental procedures UMSOD students provide for patients. "The faculty and students here offer more comprehensive treatments. I think that it is better for the patients and helps the students learn," states Wang.

The faculty members who were part of the delegation discussed organizational strategies they could implement at their institution. At the Shanghai school of stomatology, the patient population far outweighs the number of students and faculty members, which makes organizing appointments and treatments very challenging, says Associate Professor Zhang Shilei, DDS, MD. UMSOD's e-learning innovations could inspire solutions. "It is our mission to promote new educational technology throughout mainland China," says Dr. Shilei.

"This visit fosters collaboration between the two institutions," says Bernard Levy, DDS, director of global operations. Several UMSOD students will have the opportunity to visit the Shanghai school through a recently established externship program. "A visit like this helps to break down stereotypes. Our students and faculty learn from the visitors from China and they learn from us. I think that the more we know about people from other parts of the world, the better off everyone will be," remarks Dr. Levy.

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