9th March 2018, Volume 131 Number 1471

February 1918 

At its last meeting the University Senate amended the statuses for the examination which a dentist must pass before he can be licensed for the practice of his profession. Previously the requirements were that a man wishing to enter the profession had to take a four years’ course at the Dental School at the University of Otago, to which is attached the only Medical School in the country. For two years the Minister of Public Health (the Hon. G. W. Russell) has had this matter under consideration, and in consequence of representations made to him from Auckland and other places he addressed a letter to the Senate, of which the decision of the Senate to amend the statuses is probably the outcome.

The Minister pointed out in his letter that no man under the Dentists Act of 1908 could be registered unless he held a degree in dentistry granted by the University of New Zealand. He had come reluctantly to the conclusion that under present conditions the necessities of the population in the matter of dentistry were not being met.

The following were the registrations in the last ten years:

1907..........................................................................................................................54

1908..........................................................................................................................41

1909..........................................................................................................................45

1910..........................................................................................................................32

1911..........................................................................................................................29

1912..........................................................................................................................8

1913..........................................................................................................................3

1914..........................................................................................................................1

1915..........................................................................................................................2

1916..........................................................................................................................3

In the last five of the years of this period the new statuses had been in force.

The Minister suggested to the Senate that the requirements of the examination should not compel attendance at the Otago Medical School for four years, but that students be allowed to take part of the course either at technical schools in the other large centres or at the other University Colleges, gaining experience of the surgical part of their work at the dental clinics at the hospitals. If it was desired that the degree should be retained, he suggested that a less qualification in the shape of a diploma should be accepted as entitling a dentist to practise. This, he submitted, would not, perhaps, be equal to a degree, but it would be evidence that the applicant for registration had reached efficiency in the practical work of dentistry.