The Boston University Institute for Dental Research and Education–Dubai (BUIDRE), which last month graduated its second and final class of residents, has ended operations. It will be replaced by the Dubai School of Dental Medicine, a Dubai-led dental school within an overall academic healthcare center.
BUIDRE, a collaboration between BU’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and a comprehensive Dubai healthcare complex, was launched in 2008. The mutual decision to discontinue the venture, reached after Dubai authorities proposed a structure in which they would primarily manage their own institution, will allow the Dubai School of Dental Medicine to build on the efforts to create capacity in Dubai for world-class postdoctoral dental specialty programs.
BUIDRE operated within the Academic Medical Center (AMC) at Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), a free-trade zone of medical facilities and offices developed to attract investment to the Emirate of Dubai and to create a globally renowned academic medical campus. BUIDRE’s aim was to improve dental care and training in the Middle East, educating “these individuals to improve the oral health research, education, and patient care of the region,” says SDM Dean Jeffrey Hutter. The institute educated dental school graduates in an array of specialties.
“As a result of the experience and knowledge gained through its collaboration with BU, AMC and DHCC are now well poised to replicate the excellent academic offering and fulfill its vision of establishing a local postdoctoral dental school,” announced a DHCC news release. The release quoted the vice chairman of the DHCC Authority: “We are confident that the shift in strategic focus to local governance will ensure that our clinical, education, and research programs are aligned to international best practice with a strong focus on local needs.”
BUIDRE’s two classes had 27 graduates, all but 2 of whom are practicing in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and the Gulf region, Hutter says. The other two graduates are pursuing further studies at SDM.
Willis Wang, a BU vice president and associate provost, says that the University is grateful to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, chair of the Dubai Healthcare City Authority, and the leadership of DHCC and AMC “for the opportunity to create one of the finest institutions for advanced specialty oral health care education and research” in Dubai, the UAE, and the region.
“We are proud of the dedicated and talented faculty, staff, students, and graduates of BUIDRE,” Hutter says, “and wish the Dubai School of Dental Medicine well in the new endeavor.”