Head of the Orthodontic and Paediatric Dentistry, University of Jordan
I was advised [to apply] by my late uncle Dr. Saad Al-Bitar who was a postgraduate student in Oral Surgery in 1952. He later became the Head of the Dentistry Unit in the Jordanian Armed Medical Services.
As a fresh graduate from the University of Jordan I was very apprehensive about settling in academically and socially. However, I found that the Orthodontics program was well-organized and the learning environment was friendly and positive. There was a family-like atmosphere between the students, supervisors and dental nurses making our training more relaxed and enjoyable.
Looking back, I have many wonderful memories of my years at Eastman. Some of my favourite memories are the annual barbecue parties where the entire department used to gather at the end of the academic year.
Other amazing moments were winning prizes which further demonstrated the excellent training and supervision we received at the Eastman. I won several national prizes: the British Orthodontic Society Gold Medal for the Royal College of Surgeons Intercollegiate Membership in Orthodontics (2002), the TP prize for the best cases presented at the British Orthodontic Conference in 2003 and the British Orthodontic Society Gunter Russell prize for the best poster presentation at the International Orthodontic Congress in 2005 for my MSc research. I also won the Eastman 3M prize for clinical excellence.
I moved back to the University of Jordan Dental School. I am currently a Professor and the Head of the Orthodontic and Paediatric Dentistry Department. At the University of Jordan we are currently preparing to launch our own postgraduate program in Orthodontics. In the long-term we are working to establish a centre for patients with craniofacial anomalies since there is great need for such a centre both nationally and regionally.
Studying at Eastman helped me in my career to a great degree. As a clinician, treating my patients the “Eastman way” is still evident in my practice which basically means basing my practices on solid evidence, while keeping an eye on new and promising techniques. I am still in contact with my teachers and continue doing research with them and many of them have visited Jordan.
It is always a great pleasure to present to our students with my own teachers and have them gain the experience of knowledge and expertise I was exposed to. The special relationship I have with the Eastman and its wonderful staff continues to this day.