|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 367
President, IAPHD, Senior Professor and Head, Department of Public Health Dentistry, The Oxford Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
|Date of Web Publication||15-Dec-2016|
Dr. S S Hiremath
President, IAPHD, Senior Professor and Head, Department of Public Health Dentistry, The Oxford Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Hiremath S S. President's Message. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2016;14:367
I am sure all of you must have returned to your respective places with sweet memories of recently conducted 21st National Conference of IAPHD at Bhubaneswar. We have witnessed the success of conference, which brought together my colleagues, PG students, and researchers across the country with an apt theme “Preserving Public Health Dentistry in Challenging Times - Envisioning the Future.”
As we face new challenges to dental public health in this millennium, we must come together to share ideas and resources, so we can plan and create a better future for the next generation of students, faculty, and researchers.
Experience is a very good tool for learning and becoming proficient in the medical and dental field. However, when it comes to the real evaluation of practices, strategies, and decisions, personal experience is definitely not enough, as it can be very biased and misleading. Sometimes, even unconsciously, we see things, the way we would like to see them and hence a good evidence-based approach should be utilized to better assess our available knowledge.
Admittedly, it is not an easy task. It involves meticulous planning, rigorous data collection, appropriate analysis, and knowledge dissemination. The evidence-based approach should be part of our professional life at all levels. At the public decision-making level, the evidence-based approach is even more crucial. We cannot afford to make decisions that will influence a whole population without having a proper support and evidence. Health-related decisions with far-reaching effects on the well-being of our society should solely be made and supported by the available evidence. It cannot be influenced or driven by beliefs, preconceptions, or biased.
Public health dentistry is a fast-growing specialty in India, which is yet to mature to its fullest form. Therefore, we are in a phase where young graduates after postgraduation are struggling to find a suitable job to their skill set.
Social inequalities in morbidity and mortality continues to be one of the highest public health concerns in the times of increasing income inequalities in both economically advanced and poor countries. To a large extent, respective epidemiological research is based on statistical indicators of people's socioeconomic position, lack of education, occupational status, and income. With a few exceptions, wealth, a complimentary indicator, has received less attention.
The sustained efforts of the last 60 years have impacted the society positively by bringing about significant changes in health indicators. Perhaps, it is time now to devise and develop oral health indicators for the community and work toward achieving them.
In the current scenario of career opportunities available in our country, it is high time that we at least empower the postgraduate students to rely on their clinical practice abilities. This will enable them to independently lead a satisfied work life with financial stability. Therefore, the postgraduate training curriculum could focus on how to equip our students to retain the basic dental practice skills as well as preventive dentistry skill sets. Being public health dentists, the preventive oral health services should become the forerunner in clinical practice. This could save our community to survive this transitional phase our specialty is facing.
I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to all the office bearer of the IAPHD and esteemed members for their support, help and understanding extended to me. It was a perfect team work. My special thanks to Editor, Dr. Manjunath Puranik and his entire editorial team for the excellent work of IAPHD journal.
Wishing all of you a great year and time ahead.