IPMC graduates first 5 MSc in clinical dentistry
Five were awarded the first master’s degrees in clinical dentistry from the International Postgraduate Medical College (IPMC) in a graduation exercise at The University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters in Mona, St Andrew, last week Monday.
Keynote speaker William Iton, who flew into Jamaica from Kenya, implored graduates to “Live, love, learn, and leave a legacy.”
Iton encouraged them to apply seven habits in their professional and personal lives, encouraging them to be effective and impactful in their chosen fields.
Valedictorian Dr Arif Saqui, who earned his MSc Oral Surgery and Medicine, told the Jamaica Observer that the journey was not without its challenges.
“In 2017, we were granted an opportunity to continue our training at a postgraduate level, but little did we know at that time what we signed up for… We were the pioneers that had to weather the storm; the unstable Internet connections; jumping on planes, trains and buses to get to clinical exams. But we took it all in good stride,” he expressed.
The IPMC, a non-profit educational institution that was founded in 2011, offers dental programmes in continuing professional development.
Over the years, it has played a pivotal role in advancing postgraduate medical and dental education in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Through its visionary founder, Dr Christopher Ogunsalu, students from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and as far as Botswana have benefited from the programmes offered.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Ogunsalu celebrated the master’s students, who specialised in oral implantology and oral surgery and medicine.
“These five students, whom I call pioneers, have undergone rigorous training, sat final examinations akin to fellowship examinations, and will be awarded the Fellowship of the Faculty of Dentistry of the International Postgraduate Medical College (FFD IPMC), in addition to their master’s degrees,” remarked Dr Ogunsalu.
Dr Nirvana Persadsingh expressed that, having started studies during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were many doubtful days.
“We have become a better version of ourselves who have grown together, laughed together, and supported each other throughout our studies. We have experienced our fair share of challenges. We faced rigorous academic demands, late nights, and the occasional setback. We persevered nonetheless. We have shown resilience in the face of adversity, determination to pursue our goals, and the unwavering belief in our abilities,” she said.
Newly elected president of the IPMC alumni Dr Pogiso Letswere commended the graduates for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence, pledging to “create a strong alumni network that fosters mentorship, professional development, and collaboration”.
The master’s programmes will be reviewed in short order for accreditation.