“The Doctorate of Clinical Dentistry in Oral Pathology course has provided an excellent platform for students like me to investigate and diagnose the causes of multiple diseases pertaining to the oral maxillofacial region.
“The clinical component allowed me to correlate relevant clinical histories and other special investigations with the histology of oral lesions and other head and neck pathologies in order to formulate a definitive diagnosis.
“This logical and collaborative diagnostic process together with the expert supervision by Oral Pathology Centre (OPC) academic staff has allowed me to work confidently in diagnosing oral diseases in my current workplace in Tupua Tamasese Meaole (TTM) Hospital in Samoa.
“Furthermore, I was also fortunate to have been exposed to the quality control / assurance measures established within the OPC laboratory, which I find very helpful in how to manage oral tissue biopsies that come through the Anatomical Pathology Unit in Samoa on a daily basis. The research aspect of this course was an eye opener and complex process however, very enjoyable part of my journey.
“During my research, I was able to carry out numerous experiments and familiarise myself with molecular detection techniques such as immunohistochemistry (IHC), in-situ hybridisation (ISH), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a blessing in disguise for my own personal development.
“And I am determined to continuously carry out and share what I have learnt in the past three years of my DClinDent journey at the OPC, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago to general dental practitioners and other health professionals with the hope that one day I will be able to establish the first Oral Pathology Centre/Services in Samoa.”
Dr Elizabeth Tauati-Williams.