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An Official Publication of the Indian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists

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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-7

Critical evaluation of Swot analysis (South Indian scenario)

Dept. of Oral Pathology, Tamil Nadu Govt. Dental College & Hospital, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
V L Indirani
Dept. of Oral Pathology, Tamil Nadu Govt. Dental College & Hospital, Chennai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This article looks into the various aspects of the speciality of Oral pathology and its scope at present and in the future.

Keywords: SWOT, South India, Oral pathology.

How to cite this article:
Indirani V L. Critical evaluation of Swot analysis (South Indian scenario). J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2003;7:5-7

How to cite this URL:
Indirani V L. Critical evaluation of Swot analysis (South Indian scenario). J Oral Maxillofac Pathol [serial online] 2003 [cited 2023 Feb 1];7:5-7. Available from: https://www.jomfp.in/text.asp?2003/7/1/5/40997

An intelligent high school student takes up either science or mathematics with the ambition of becoming a doctor or an engineer. His first aspiration is to go to medical college with dreams of becoming a cardiologist, neurosurgeon, or gynecologist. He/she misses entry into this course narrowly with a wide !!'?? range of mark difference of .1 - .2. With dreams shattered, he lands up in a dental college to be a dentist. There are other groups of students who can be categorized as affluent and economically weak. Depending upon their capacity to pay capitation fees, they either enter into medical college or dental college. Whatever way these students enter into dental colleges, they consider themselves as most unfortunate students, when compared to their brethren who have taken up medical education.

The greater responsibility lies on the teaching faculty of' dentistry to remove the depression and disappointment connected with the failure. They have to instill positive thoughts, attitude and confidence among dental students and make them understand that dentistry is also a part of medicine dealing with mouth and it has great future and hopes.

The student studies various disciplines of basic medical sciences and dental sciences right from the diagnosis to the treatment of oral diseases. Our speciality, oral pathology including oral histology plays an important role in inducing and imparting the knowledge about the normal and abnormal nature of oral cavity with specific emphasis on the histopathology of tissues involved in disease process. This is taught in the 2 nd and 3 rd year B.D.S. and makes them competent enough to diagnose diseases.

It is sad to see that the students take this speciality in the lighter vein at the undergraduate level and ignore it innocently. This type of status also exists in other subjects like basic General Anatomy, Physiology. Pharmacology and Pathology. Entire teaching community of dentistry takes the burden to see that the BDS students complete the course successfully and to make him a good dental surgeon, reestablishing the confidence and liking for the dental profession.

Once again these young budding BDS graduates start dreaming for the post graduate course, toiling day and night to prepare seriously for entry into free seat category in the government dental college. Their main choice goes for orthodontics, prosthodontics oral surgery, etc.

They do not consider the choice of oral pathology for MDS for the Bellowing reasons in the same order:

  1. Non lucrative
  2. Employments are minimal / none
  3. Difficulty in studying the speciality
  4. Not confident because of restricted knowledge about this subject in their undergraduate studies.

Hence this speciality is kept out of their choice or as a last choice.

Entry into post graduation also depends upon the students entrance examination performance and as well as on his / her payment capacity. The PG seats could be categorized as:

  • Government fixed free seats in government dental colleges.
  • Government fixed payment seats in private colleges
  • Management capitation fee, payment scat in private college without any restriction induced by government

Many times young budding BDS graduates choose the speciality of oral pathology:

  1. As he could not get the required cut off marks to enter into practice oriented subjects like orthodontics, prosthodontics, oral surgery, etc.
  2. He could not afford to pay the exorbitant capitation fees to procure a seat in the above­mentioned subjects. The private dental colleges offer MDS oral pathology seat at a lower capitation fee.
  3. The children of well established dental practitioners whose legacy will be carried over by them in which MDS degree alone adds tip to their merit for the private practice and not the speciality.
  4. Finally a very few odd students who have a real flair for the subjects, with dreams of becoming another Burkitt or Pindborg.

For the past 10-12 years there are enormous changes in dental education, there is a sudden awakening among educationalists, industrialists, community / non community NGO's and also the government to see that the population to dentists ratio is increased to the maximum. Dental awareness is imparted to the nooks and corners of India. Thanks to the toothpaste manufacturers and publicity media like newspapers, T.V, etc., more hype is given in promoting dental hygiene products as well as products detrimental to Oral health (like gutka, tobacco, etc..). As a result numerous private dental colleges were opened to cater to the needs 0f rural population and rural students. A time will come when there would be a dental college, one in every 50 kms with an intake capacity of 100 students.

In the process of starting a new dental college a huge amount has to be invested to make it a full fledged college with an attached medical hospital to impart knowledge on basic medical sciences. All the colleges have to be approved by DCI. When these colleges start rising to the status of PG Institutions, the investments are once again much more that the initial amount. This includes the infra structure facilities, patient strength, staff pattern etc.

The colleges train the students at the speciality level and make them masters and in turn the management earns money to make both ends meet for the enormous amount invested. Naturally the priority goes for mainly clinical and money spinning subjects. The starting of PG course in Oral Pathology is considered non-lucrative with huge amount invested in instruments, microscopes and chemicals etc. To run the department successfully patients with various ailments, a well-established surgery department and a flow of biopsy specimen are necessary to lure the PG students to the subject (hence the offer of PG seats at a lower capitation fee). The teachers, especially post graduate teachers training the post graduate students have to take so much of pain to teach right from I" year BDS general histology, 2'" year BDS oral histology, 3"' year BDS oral pathology, then elevate them to masters.

Keeping all these facts and figures in our mind, let us analyze "SWOT".

   Strength Top

What is strength? It is to do with the strength of knowledge, the position one holds, or the strength of money that one earns out of this speciality.

   Knowledge Top

Great! We are the only ones among the speciality to report biopsy cases and diagnose diseases and not vice versa.

   Position Top

One can reach a higher position (as a teaching faculty in college) than other specialities because the individual will be one among the few at the present situation.

   Earning Top

Questionable, unless she / he has got established private dental practice or by other means, the income is comparatively less.

   Weakness Top

The weakness can be categorized at PG student level, young specialist level and experienced pathologist level

PG Students

  • Inferiority complex at least in the beginning of the course with a very vague idea about the speciality.

PG Graduate

  • Turns out with superiority complex because he is a post graduate
  • His knowledge is too vast (assumption!!)
  • He depends on other specialities for his recognition
  • He competes with the general pathologist who also report oral diseases.
Academicians /Teachers

  • Generally speaking, the weakness is eliminated when one becomes a teacher.
  • His teaching knowledge depends upon his experience, exposure and upgradation of knowledge

   Opportunities Top

  1. Are as same as the vagaries involved in other criteria like strength and weakness.
  2. It also depends on one's ability to take advantage and advance in his field economically (or) otherwise.

   Opportunities can be Enumerated in the Following Ways: Top

  • Starting a pathology laboratory to report oral lesions or be a consultant oral pathologist among the team of general pathologists. For this we need financial and professional support, acceptance of our knowledge and experience by our professional colleagues.
  • Entering into teaching profession in so many private dental colleges and very few government dental colleges. It is sad to say that many of the Oral pathologists who enter into government service have to be dental surgeons than to be Oral pathologists.
  • Oral pathology can be considered as a gateway to higher education abroad especially subjects like Oral biology, genetics and molecular biology. Admission to these courses is very much easier and offered with financial aids.
  • There are many cancer centers and hospitals where opportunities are given to report Oral cancers.
  • One can also increase his qualification by enrolling Ph.D. and other doctoral research programmes thereby shifting entirely from dental to medical faculty. Example: Genetics & molecular biology)
  • Job opportunities abroad both European and riddle cast countries seems to be nil.

   Threat Top

Many times the dental surgeons attached to colleges or private practice target that they have Oral pathologist in their midst who can help them to arrive at a final reliable diagnosis.

  • General pathologists having pathology knowledge from head to foot can be a real threat in reporting the Oral lesions also.
  • Teaching Oral histology and Oral pathology are taken over by oral medicine specialists and periodontists in many colleges as there is lack of specialists in the subject but this scene is changing at present.
  • Introduction of Oral pathology as a speciality in MDS in many colleges creates production of too many PGs without any adequate practical exposure to a variety of lesions from simple dental cyst to much complicated rare lesions which are a great challenge even to the experienced pathologists.
There is a cry among newly qualified young PGs that a saturation level has reached for job opportunities as teaching staff in dental colleges.

  • Apart from this the introduction of Diploma in National Boards and certificate courses if' introduced in oral pathology will be a definite serious threat to the post graduates who have toiled for three years. There will be a lot of confusion in allocating different cadres to the dentists.
  • Training of the Students for PG oral pathology is very important and the fruits of which ultimately reach the patients through oral surgeons or dental practitioners. Are we really competent enough to read the varieties of slides (of course we can use special stains and immunohistochemistry for our help which will be a costlier affair).

   Suggestions Top

  • Take up your profession seriously and use it for your betterment and in turn to the society.
  • Improve your image as a specialist among your colleagues and medical professionals.
  • Create a name in teaching profession by being sincere, diligent and knowledgeable both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Your students will be your good-will ambassadors who will vouch for your ability of being a good teacher.
  • Upgrade your knowledge to the level of international standards!!! (nobody has set the parameter for this as yet). This will help you to enter into the international arena.
  • Reorient yourself with many research projects concerned with your speciality and one day in the near or distant future you may be named after one disease or one tumour.

   Conclusion Top

Let the IAOMP strive for our rights and mights, to create a niche for our own speciality among the dental professionals.


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