Asia covers a wide geographical area and populated by over half of the world’s population in over 20 countries. There is a great shortage of well trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons, particularly in the developing countries. The guideline of education and training of oral and maxillofacial surgery has been defined and endorsed by the Asian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in 2004. The education is primarily dentally based except China, which is based on Stomatology as a recognized division of Medicine. The guideline recommends a dedicated training of at least four years, of which most of the countries with established training pathways have complied. Some of developing countries still have no organized training pathway that the Asian Association is trying hard to help. There are abundant quantities of deformities, such as cleft lip and palate, and oral cancers due to the huge population and predisposing factors, such as betel nut chewing and tobacco usage. Most trainees have ample exposure to a wide range of pathologies and surgical scope under dedicated surgical training centres. They then go through an exit examination to be recognized as specialist oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Many of them will continue to serve the public hospitals and universities. The Asian Association has endorsed the vision and will soon establish an Asian Board for providing a qualification for nationally qualified specialists to compete in attempt to set a standard of education and training in Asia.
Education and training of oral and maxillofacial surgery in Asia
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