A few familiar faces at Open Day!

25 July 2018

First graduating cohort tour

Fifty years ago, the first graduating cohort of students of Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry donned their caps and gowns and progressed from student to qualified Dentists and Dental Technicians.

Cardiff saw 26 students progress in its first graduating year of 1968.  One of the 26, Alan Harrison organised a 50-year reunion dinner and included a visit back to the Dental School, tour of the facilities and chance to meet some current students!

“I think most memorable was the interplay between the staff and students and the general friendliness of the whole place. We were all known by name and when there were only 22 dental students in the entire building, as in our first clinical year, there was nowhere to hide, and you couldn’t avoid participating in everything. We also had quite a number of staff/student sports occasions – I particularly remember the Bowls matches in Roath Park.”

In the 1960s the dental health of the South Wales population was not the best. As students we had a huge reservoir of cases to treat. There was a plethora of patients requiring extractions and dentures. As an example, I extracted over 330 teeth using local anaesthesia and 440 under general anaesthesia”

The tour through the school and hospital was led by the Head of School, Professor Alastair Sloan.  The newly refurbished Clinical Skills Simulation Suite, opened in 2016, being of particular interest to the alumni.  The visit coincided with the Cardiff University Open Day enabling the Alumni to meet both current and prospective students. During their visit the group chatted to current students and compared notes on how dental education has changed.

Professor Alastair Sloan added; “It was an honour to welcome back members of the School’s first graduating cohort, many of whom had not been back to the school since they graduated. The first graduates of our School were pioneers of Dentistry in Cardiff and it was a joy to see them impart some wisdom to our current students.”

Last week 150 students graduate from the Schools Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes with 100% of the School’s Dental Surgery (BDS) students winning a place on Dental Foundation Training.