The GIOCH China initiative started in the Spring of 2018. This initiative offers dental students the opportunity to experience China's rich culture, learn about dental education and healthcare systems, provide oral health care education, and participate in community outreach to people living in rural areas around Shantou, China.
This initiative is a collaboration with the Shantou University Medical College, Department of Stomatology. Dental students and faculty members spend approximately two weeks in Shantou and surrounding sites. Their time is filled with diverse activities ranging from giving lectures to the dental students, participating in preclinical workshops, providing oral health screenings at local communities/ remote rural villages, and touring dental facilities. They also share personal experiences of dental school life in the US and deliver lectures in their area of interest. Throughout the trip, students also get to experience important historical and cultural sites around the region, such as seeing Qing dynasty military bases, exploring local parks and gardens, and experiencing Chinese culture through food and other activities.
This initiative provides a broad understanding of dental education, dental care issues, and health care access in China. The students and faculty prepare for the trip months in advance by researching the local culture, regional health issues, and national dental curriculum in China.