Internet Edition

Issue No. 1, March 1997

Postgraduate Orthodontics at NUS - An Update

Orthodontics Postgradutes and Lecturers

Back row
Dr Chew Ming Tak (2nd year resident), Dr Ronald Tan (1st year resident), Dr Andrew Aw (2nd year resident), Dr Kaan Sheung Kin (Part-time clinical tutor), Dr Djeng Shih Kien (Part-time clinical tutor)

Front Row
Dr Kelvin Foong (Lecturer), Dr Wong Tuck yong (1st year resident), Professor Andrew Sandham (Chairman), Dr Hwang Yee Cheau (Part-time clinical tutor), Dr Tan Hwee Hiang (Part-time clinical tutor)


The postgraduate orthodontic programme at the National University of Singapore started in April 1992 with a pioneer batch of three residents. Since its inception, five residents have graduated and are currently practicing at the Government Dental Clinic as orthodontic registrars. Conceived as a joint training programme for both Ministry of Health (MOH) sponsored residents and self-sponsored candidates, the course came under the experienced Chairmanship of Professor John Andrew Sandham. He joined the University in the April of 1994 as a visiting professor, and has under his present care four residents, 2 of whom are self sponsored and the remaining two from the MOH. Come May 1997, three more students will join the programme in the first year course, making up a total of seven residents and for the first time with students present in all three years of the programme.

The running of the orthodontic programme comes under the direct purview of the Orthodontic committee comprising Professor Andrew Sandham (Chairman - NUS), Dr Loh Soo Ann (Co-chairman - GDC), Dr Mimi Yow (GDC), Dr Djeng Shih Kien (Private Practice), Dr Ho Kar Kaye (Private Practice) and Dr Kelvin Foong (NUS).

The efforts in training the residents are tremendous; university, government, and part-time staff are enlisted to provide a comprehensive theoretical and clinical training to equip the students for a life of clinical orthodontic practice. As a gauge of the quality of orthodontic training at NUS, many who graduated have obtained additional orthodontic memberships and fellowships from the Royal Colleges in the UK and Australia.

Students also undertake a research program, and all are encouraged to present their findings at international research meetings to bring their advances to the critical attention of researchers from elsewhere. As a measure of the quality of their research, students are required to publish their findings in a internationally-refereed publication. Currently, four Master's level research projects are in preparation by second year and first year residents :

  • Dr Chew Ming Tak on "An Assessment of the provision of orthodontic treatment using occlusal indices",
  • Dr Andrew Aw on "Dimensional changes in the upper airway following surgical correction of mandibular prognathism",
  • Dr Wong Tuck Yong on "A patient-centred evaluation of orthodontic clinical care", and
  • Dr Ronald Tan on "Soft-tissue profiles in children with increased overjet",

all supervised by Professor Sandham.

Come March 1998, Dr Chew and Dr Aw will be sitting for the Final MDS examination and defending their theses before Professor Malcom Jones, the current Editor of the British Journal of Orthodontics and Professor of Child Dental Health at the University of Wales, College of Medicine in Cardiff.

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