These foreign graduates in dental surgery who have never treated a single patient

VIDEO – The Order of Dentists will seize the Ministry of Health and the European Commission to denounce the deficiencies in the control of the training of foreign students who end up practicing in France.

In Europe, 10% of dental surgery students have never had a real clinical examination or performed basic procedures. In other words, they would never have treated any patient before they graduated. In addition, a third of them have never performed a fixed prosthesis or written a prescription for medication. This is the worrying observation made by the European Dental Students Association (EDSA) as part of a survey carried out in March among just over 23,000 students who completed their studies in 2015 in 26 countries of the European Union which have training organizations (which is not the case in Cyprus and Luxembourg).

This study was conducted by Marco Mazevet, a 28-year-old state graduate in dental surgery, who defended, last July, at the University of Rennes, a thesis on student training at European level. Almost 1000 young people from 19 member countries responded to the anonymous questionnaire provided to them. In particular, they were given a list of 34 clinical procedures and asked how often they perform them and whether or not they feel capable of performing them alone. “The main thing is not to make an indictment against foreign practitioners who sometimes have more elaborate clinical training than in France but to allow everyone to have a decent minimum of clinical training for an equivalent diploma”, explains to Figaro Marco Mazevet.

“There can be no free movement of medical professionals without safeguards”

Gilbert Bouteille, President of the National Order of Dentists

Even if the survey does not reveal any figures by country, the results are so worrying that they pushed the National Order of Dentists (ONCD) to take up the case. After having sent on September 15 a letter – remained unanswered – to Marisol Touraine, its supervising minister, the ONCD seized the European Commission and plans to do the same “very quickly” with the Ministry of Health. And this for a simple and most worrying reason… “We are obliged to recognize all European graduates and thus let a dentist trained in the European Union come and practice in France. But how to register graduates who have never treated patients and thus expose them to inevitable accidents? ”Asks Gilbert Bouteille, president of the National Order of dental surgeons.

published by LeFigaro

However, has provided criteria to better supervise the initial training of European dentists. Thus, the latter must last for a minimum of five years and total at least 5,000 full-time hours of theoretical education. “Just as there is no market without trust, and therefore without rules and control, there can be no free movement of medical professionals without safeguards,” adds Gilbert Bouteille.

But the Order does not find them strict enough and calls for an urgent reform of the directive. Thus, its president wants the number of teaching hours to increase from 5,000 to 5,500 hours, or the equivalent of one more semester. For the time being, this proposal has not been accepted by any other European country, he deplores. For its part, the European association of dental surgery students will ask the European Commission to quickly start a consultation with the European Council of Dentists. “We must modernize the directive which is today very obsolete and not adapted to the context of intense free movement”, concludes Marco Mazevet. Today, 40% of dentists who practice in France have a foreign diploma.

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