Dr Phoebe Lam, MDS III student in Paediatric Dentistry, received the Morita Award for Best Research Poster at the 27th International Congress of International Association of Paediatric Dentistry (IAPD) which is the first time of a Faculty student to win this award at IAPD Congress. The winning poster is about the study* “Dental radiographic age assessment methods for living individuals”.
Without birth registration and legal identity, there is around 200 million undocumented children worldwide who are invisible to the social protection system and struggles to assess health and education when they cannot formally proof their age. To improve the situation, dentists indeed can give a hand. Dental age assessment using dental radiograph might be a possible solution or panacea as tooth development is closely correlated with chronological age and almost independent of environmental factors. The object of the study is to evaluate and summarize the available evidence regarding the accuracies of 3 main types of dental age assessment methods.
Being awarded, Dr Phoebe Lam was astonished as she considered herself as "triple-minority" at the Congress. “I am Chinese, short, presenting a systematic review while others were doing clinical trials or lab studies,” smiled Dr Lam. But she did not belittle herself, instead she spent extra effort in preparing her speech and rehearsing lots. Her hard work paid off and she was over the moon when she received the news!
Mentorship plays an important part for this success. Dr Phoebe Lam is thankful to Professor Cynthia Yiu, Clinical Professor in Paediatric Dentistry, who has been supportive throughout her studies and provided thorough comments towards her research. She is also grateful to Dr Gloria Wong, Clinical Associate Professor in Paediatric Dentistry, who offered her the opportunity and freedom to do this research. “When everyone including myself doubted whether it was worthwhile to go as far as Mexico, competing with a systematic review; she believed in me wholeheartedly!” Dr Phoebe Lam said. “Winning the competition is the best way to prove them right!”
Regarding to Dr Phoebe Lam’s aspiration in her studies, she pointed out that one of them is to continue applying the knowledge on dental age assessment and serve the undocumented individuals in the developing world with Dr Gloria Wong. They visited Uganda last December serving rural villagers and South-Sudan refugees. They would like to expand the service to other parts of Africa when situation allows.
*Authors of the study included Dr Phoebe Pui Ying Lam (also presenter) and corresponding authors, Professor Cynthia Yiu and Dr Gloria Wong
To view the poster, please visit: https://facdent.hku.hk/docs/research/posters/2019.06.12 1540 phoebe IAPD 2019 poster.pdf
To learn more about IADP, please click: http://www.iapdworld.org/main.php