Scholars from Shanghai Visit GSDM in Cultural and Academic Exchange

(l-r) Dr. Xin Hua, Dr. Michelle Henshaw, Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter, Dr. Jian Sun, and Dr. Xiyang Liu

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) hosted three scholars from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Stomatology (SJTUSS) from June 4 through June 18, 2014. The scholars were Dr. Jian Sun, Associate Professor and Postgraduate Supervisor in the Department of Prosthodontics at SJTUSS, and two SJTUSS Orthodontics residents, Drs. Xin Hua and Xiyang Liu.

The visit was part of a Global & Population Health academic and cultural exchange with two institutions in China that began in October 2013 when four DMD students visited SJTUSS in Shanghai and the Fourth Military Medical University School of Stomatology (FMMUSS) in Xi’an. As part of the exchange agreement, GSDM also accepts an equal number of students and scholars from FMMUSS and SJTUSS to our home site for an equal period of clinical observation and/or research experience.

During their stay, Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu resided at the 10 Buick Street BU student housing. Their itineraries were packed with academic, social, and sight-seeing activities.

On June 5, Dean and Mrs. Hutter welcomed Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu into their home for a dinner with GSDM department chairs, program directors, faculty and staff.

The GSDM chapter of the Asian Dental Student Organization hosted a lunch for the visiting scholars on June 6, during which the visitors had an opportunity to get to know some of the DMD students. That afternoon, Dr. Louis Brown, Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry, gave the visitors a tour of the School’s Simulation Learning Center.

Over their stay, Drs. Hua and Liu had the opportunity to observe Orthodontic residents at work in the Post-doctoral Orthodontics Patient Treatment Center and to sit in on some classes. Dr. Sun observed in the Prosthodontics clinic and also attended some classes and seminars

On June 13, Dr. Sun made a presentation to GSDM faculty and students, titled “Computer Aided Design and Rapid Manufacture for Facial Prosthesis.” Dr. Sun also reviewed the structure of dental education in China, comparing and contrasting it to programs in the United States.

Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu met with BU Medical Campus Provost Dr. Karen H. Antman on June 16.

Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu were even able to meet a fellow graduate of SJTUSS during their visit. Na Wei AS 15, an SJTUSS alum, was happy to be able to talk with them about her experiences at GSDM, and they discussed some of the differences between the education models of China and the United States.

The visitors also had some time to take in several Boston area historical and cultural sites. They toured other Boston educational institutions, specifically Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; visited Plimouth Plantation and the Mayflower; enjoyed a wide range of shopping experiences including Fanueil Hall, Newbury Street, and the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets; spent a day on Cape Cod; and enjoyed many local restaurants. New England clam chowder and spaghetti and meatballs were just a couple of the local dishes they enjoyed.

Dr. Michelle Henshaw, Associate Dean for Global & Population Health, said, “Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu’s  visit was another step toward enhancing GSDM’s partnership with SJTUSS and building stronger connections with the SJTUSS students and faculty.” She continued, “The visiting scholars learned about the U.S. dental education system and philosophy, observed new clinical approaches, made contacts for future joint research endeavors, and experienced U.S. culture and New England sites.  Similarly, GSDM students and faculty gained insights into the Chinese education system, culture, and rich history. Global exchange programs such as this provide participants with the skills and understanding necessary to be both competent and empathetic health care providers and engaged global citizens.”

Dr. Laisheng Chou, Professor of Restorative Sciences & Biomaterials, Consultant to the Dean on Programs and Initiatives Involving the Far East, and the Exchange Program Leader for GSDM said, “Boston University is committed to some key attributes defining BU as a global university. In order to fulfill the mission of Global Higher Education, GSDM has extended its international dental externship program initiatives to include this exchange with two prestigious institutions in China.”

Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I am glad to see this important cultural and academic exchange occurring at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.” He continued, “It was a pleasure to get to know Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu, and I look forward to our continued collaboration with the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Stomatology.”

Photos are available on Facebook and Flickr.