Schulich ExecEd Celebrates Graduation for the Schulich ExecEd-Prep Doctors Internationally Trained Dentists Upskilling Program

Posted on April 10, 2023
Schulich ExecEd Celebrates Graduation for the Schulich ExecEd-Prep Doctors Internationally Trained Dentists Upskilling Program

On March 9, 2023, Schulich ExecEd celebrated the graduation of 25 internationally trained dentists in the culmination of the Schulich ExecEd-Prep Doctors Internationally Trained Dentists Upskilling Program.   

This program is the recent addition to Schulich ExecEd’s ongoing dedication towards social innovation and the professional development of equity-deserving groups. As part of this mission, Schulich ExecEd has launched programs to help newcomers to Canada, Black entrepreneurs and Indigenous community members upskill, reskill, and enhance their career opportunities. This newest program to the Schulich ExecEd roster assists new immigrants in overcoming barriers to employment by providing internationally trained dentists with the business, management, and leadership skills to help them succeed in Ontario. The program was open to internationally trained dentists in all regions of Ontario and was facilitated virtually to create an inclusive, borderless classroom that minimized geographic barriers and travel requirements. 

“One of our core aims is to help internationally-trained dentists not just adapt to Canadian dentistry standards but improve our dental care industry for the better. With Schulich ExecEd, we were able to create an upskilling program that not only matched that aim but exceeded our expectations with outstanding outcomes for course participants,” said Firas Abu Saleh, Co-founder and CEO of Prep Doctors. 

As a testament to the program’s commitment to sharpening the skills, leadership abilities and business acumen of working professionals within Ontario, the most recent session of the program was funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development through the Skills Development Fund.   

Consisting of 18 workshops hosted from November 2022 to March 2023, this program helped foreign-trained dentists improve their dental clinic service, customer care and patient outcomes. Workshops covered vital topics like Strategic Management, Finance, Dental Equivalency, Certification and Regulation, Payers, Dental Support Organizations (DSO’s), Digital Technologies, Taxes and Real Estate for Dentists and HR Management. 

A unique element of the program was the group Action Learning Project (ALP), which enabled dentists to apply classroom learning to real-world business challenges. Participants received both individual and ALP group coaching from seasoned business leaders and the opportunity to present their final solutions to a panel of expert judges. Several of the ALPs focused on integral topics and questions such as: 

1.Excelling in Canada Sooner: How can the dental profession in Ontario better support international dentists in the equivalency and certification processes? How can international dentists engage in organized dentistry and regulatory governance and otherwise integrate more fully into the practising community?  

2.Technology in Dentistry: With rapid advancements in technology and changes in the way that dentistry is practiced, there are gaps in dental care delivery and dental practice administration. How can technology be used to bridge this gap and improve dental care for communities? 

Rami Mayer, Schulich ExecEd’s Executive Director, thanked the Ontario Government for its support, Prep Doctors for their partnership and Co-Program Directors Firas Abu Saleh and Megan Mitchell for spearheading the program delivery.  

“The dentistry profession and marketplace has transformed itself rapidly over the last few years,” said Mayer. “Where dentists once saw themselves mostly through the lens of a health care professional, they now must also see themselves as a business, from a single practice to or part of a larger chain of dentists in a single business.”  

“I really appreciated and liked the course module and contents, the instructor’s method of teaching, and overall, the course. This was a great opportunity,” shared Dr. Farhana Mustafa, a Schulich ExecEd-Prep Doctors Internationally Trained Dentists Upskilling Program graduate.  

Her comments were echoed by fellow graduate Dr. Mahmood Zaid, who said, “This program was one of the best that I have joined. It helped me a lot.”  

Upon graduating, each internationally trained dentist receives a framed Schulich ExecEd-Prep Doctors Certificate and a digital micro-credential. Accelerated reskilling is the way of the future for mid-career professionals, and micro-credentials allow practicing professionals to grow their careers, level up for more senior roles and enable them to diversify their skillsets, specializations, and knowledge.   

“We created this program to support the changes happening in your business and provide the business acumen, skills, tools and a mindset of competitiveness, promotion and growth,” Mayer said “while emphasizing the dental set-up and regulatory environment in Ontario to help prepare you for what’s next.”