Speaking at the oath-taking ceremony for four new graduates receiving their Bachelor of Science degrees in dental hygiene and dental therapy and 22 new doctors in dental surgery at the Daaga Auditorium at The UWI on Tuesday night, Carrington reminded them that as in all service professions, the customer is always right.
He said service includes providing the patient with adequate information to make informed choices and once they have done that, they have done their duty. He added that providing the information does not mean that the patient will, in fact, take the doctor’s advice and make that better choice, but it does mean that they have done their duty.
“Nothing we do can really undo what they are doing or not doing every day.” He also urged the new doctors not to restrict themselves to their private practices but to get involved in community work in their neighbourhoods, saying it was an investment which would pay dividends in the future.
He also said they should get involved in the dialogue on oral health, noting that while members of other professions were speaking out, dentists were generally very quiet and that needed to change.
Carrington advised the dentists to take some time out of their work for fun, saying they should ensure that they protect some free time in their lives for something that had nothing to do with work.
“You will never have time if you never take time.” He said “me time” would pay off in a longer work life and reduce the possibility of burnout.
Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences Professor Terrence Seemungal said the faculty was very proud of the School of Dentistry which had been accredited for two years in its last accreditation but had that increased to four years which, he said, was “absolutely wonderful.” He said the school had become the only school outside the continental United States to be recognised by the Quality on Dental Accreditation where its residency programme had been accredited for seven years, which he said was testament to the high standard the school had attained and maintained for several years.