Dr Horn Sereybot has been at UP since November 2016. He is currently co-manager of the UP Dental Clinic, with Dr Bich Sothea. Dr Sereybot agreed to do an interview this week about the dental clinic. Here are the highlights from the interview:

1. Why did you decide to come and work at UP?

Because of my passion to work at an educational organization and improve dental education in Cambodia. UP is the place where I can contribute with that passion and help to achieve my career goals.

2. What have been the highlights over the past few years?

We have seen a big increase in the number of patients coming to the clinic to be treated by our students and dentists. We have also been able to offer FREE basic dental treatment to orphanages/NGOs and disadvantaged groups, so we are giving back to the community. We have been getting good feedback from the patients and our NGO partners about our services, which is very pleasing. Our first and second batches of students are really very competent to work and run their own clinics after graduation, thanks to our fantastic team of specialist and general dentists – who include some of the top dentists in Cambodia.

3. What have been some of the challenges?

Recruiting enough patients for 100 students is not easy, and takes a lot of effort. And we have to work hard to help students to finish their clinical requirements, competencies and case presentations. But we have a good team and we meet regularly to solve problems. We demand high standards of patient care, so that students graduate as competent and ethical dentists. We believe we are achieving this. Just recently there have been concerns about Covid-19 – however we have addressed this issue and are one of the few clinics in the country with new evidence-based protocols to prevent cross-infection in the clinic.

4. What are your perceptions of the quality of the clinical tutors who work in our clinic, both supervising students and providing dental treatment for private patients?

Our clinical tutors are performing well in supervising our students. Treatment plans have to be discussed before treatment starts. All steps during treatment have to be closely checked, and students have to work hard in order to complete their cases. Our dentists treat private patients with a high level of ethics and quality of care, and offer patients options, so they can choose.

5. Do you think the UP Dental clinic is well equipped compared with other clinics in Cambodia?

UP Dental Clinic has a lot of modern equipment that can help us provide an international standard of treatment. We are the only university dental clinic to have a dental microscope and laser. All our students are trained in new technologies such as apex locators, rotary endodontics and panoramic and cephalometric radiography.

6. How does the clinical training of UP dental students compare with other schools?

Each session we have 3 clinical tutors including specialists in periodontics, oral surgery, endodontics, prosthodontics, restorative dentistry, and pediatric dentistry. It means that 1 tutor supervises only 5-6 students so they have enough time to check each step of treatment carefully. In cases of difficult surgery, 1 tutor will closely supervise only 1 student. We believe our clinical training is the best in Cambodia.

7. How has Covid-19 affected the dental clinic?

Covid-19 is affecting almost everyone around the world, and of course dentistry also has its risks. For almost 2 months in March and April we saw only emergency patients and took special precautions to prevent any transmission. Now we have implemented a new protocol for all staff and students to follow which will make sure patients, as well as staff and students, can work and be treated safely.

8. What plans does the clinic have for the future?

Our future plans are to keep recruiting more patients for both students and our dentists, to continue to employ the best dentists in Cambodia, to keep improving our quality of care, to have more postgraduate programs, and one day to have an additional new dental clinic.