Deputy Clinical Director and
University Dental Cluster
National University Hospital
Faculty of Dentistry
National University of Singapore
How does one measure the worth of a good teacher? Can we assess his or her impact upon students and peers? In Dr Betty Mok, the answers are evident.
Dr Betty Mok - the Deputy Clinical Director of the University Dental Cluster, National University Hospital and also serves as the Director-Designate of the Master of Dental Surgery residency programme in Paediatric Dentistry - has a flair for teaching that endears her to students.
By adopting an open approach to teaching and learning, she creates an engaging environment where students are able to broaden their knowledge and sharpen their skills. But it is not just one way. She solicits feedback and comments from students to advance her teaching skills. While a firm believer in maintaining professional discipline and high training standards of her students, she also tempers these expectations with a sense of practicality and a heart of kindness.
Because of her consistent and unequivocal demonstration of these qualities over the years, Dr Mok commands a high level of respect from both her past and present students who regard her highly as a friend, mentor and educator. Her peers consider her the ‘mentor of mentors’. As an extension of her role as a mentor, Dr Mok serves as an associate director in the Office of Alumni and is the Faculty’s liaison for alumni matters – a role which she excels in, given her engaging personality and great influence with many past dental students.
The significant improvements in the teaching of Paediatric Dentistry have been the hallmark of Dr Mok’s leadership in dental education. Currently the Programme Coordinator for the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) Paediatric Dentistry undergraduate programme, she has led new initiatives such as the incorporation of new core competencies in student learning and assessment. She also pioneered collaborative learning in the clinical learning environment where students learn from one another through feedback on the performance of clinical procedures.
Dr Mok has been exemplary in leading curriculum development. Always keen to learn and discover new ways of educating students, she has been heavily involved in educational initiatives and has taken on educational leadership roles over the past decade. She was one of the pioneer groups of staff who underwent training in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) as early as 1996, and has led the development of PBL in the Faculty of Dentistry as a contributing member of the PBL committee. While serving as the chairperson of the Curriculum Committee from 2010 to 2013 and Assistant Dean of Education from 2011 to 2014, she led a major review of the Dentistry undergraduate curriculum in 2010. A framework was created that better integrated and synchronised pre-clinical and clinical training.
Since joining the NUS Faculty of Dentistry in 1992, Dr Betty Mok has consistently set herself very high standards in teaching; the achievements and accolades she received over the years bear testimony to her single-minded mission to inspire the future generations of dentists in Singapore. For this, she was awarded a record of eight faculty-level Teaching Excellence Awards, and was recognised at the university level with two NUS Excellent Teacher Awards.
Together with her many contributions to dental education, this achievement is a resounding affirmation from students and colleagues of Dr Betty Mok’s standing as a mentor par excellence.