Pharmacology teaching in dental education in India: Time for a reappraisal

J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2022 Jul 8;29(3):e1-e10. doi: 10.47750/jptcp.2022.843. eCollection 2022.


India has a unique position with its vast population and rapidly increasing healthcare demand. Dental health is integral to a holistic health care need, and a robust dental education system is necessary. Dental education in India is mainly regulated by the Dental Councilof India, setting broad guidelines. Universities having dental colleges and institutes develop fine curriculum development and evaluation details. General and Dental Pharmacology and Therapeuticsis a crucial subject taught to undergraduate dental students during the second year of a 4-year duration course. A dental graduate should be well trained in general and systemic pharmacology and rational therapeutics principles. This has been set as an objective by the Dental Council of India. Sound knowledge of the drug action mechanisms, indications, adverse drug reactions, drug interactions and contraindications, evidence-based medicine, and rational use of adrug is core to the allopathic system. The practical exercises on human simulation or computer-assisted learning are critical for understanding pharmacology. The subject of pharmacology for dental graduates has been allotted 70 hours of theory and 20 hours of practicals with almost the same syllabus as medical graduates. This article highlights the areas of concern concerning the deficiency of teaching hours and needed improvement in the curriculum to make it competent to achieve its objective. The authors bring this much-needed topic for discussion among academicians and for the attention of regulatory authorities.

Keywords: Dental education; and learning methods; medical teaching; pharmacology teaching.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Education, Dental
  • Humans
  • India
  • Learning