Dr. Christophe Bedos has been recognized by the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry with the 2021 National Dental Teaching Award. This prestigious award is presented to a faculty member who has displayed exceptional contributions to dental education at Canadian Universities. Dr. Bedos is an exceptional teacher and mentor who has contributed significantly to dental education by introducing critical consciousness, transdisciplinary learning and arts and humanities to dental education.
Dr. Bedos obtained his DMD degree from the University of Paris VII in 1989, followed by an MSc in dental community health in 1997 from Université de Montréal and a PhD in public health from the same university in 2000. He then moved to McGill University as a postdoctoral fellow in dental public health. He was hired by the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University in 2003 and he has held the rank of Associate Professor since 2007.
During this long period of service to the Faculty, he has assumed many leadership positions and been involved in many student-centred committees where he developed new approaches in dental education to fortify our graduate and undergraduate curriculum. Far from having a scientific ego, Christophe is both humble and generous in sharing his realizations, and this is not least amongst the many qualities that have made him an excellent educator.
Rooted in his humanistic vision of dentistry, Dr. Bedos has been able to engage not only his students and trainees but has made social dentistry the flagship of our Faculty. He has also facilitated the implementation of patient-centred approaches in educational models across Canada through his multiple publications, presentations in professional and academic symposiums and social media. Further, he has developed strong partnership with community organizations to raise the social awareness of our students and motivate them to build on core aspects of social capital.
Dr. Bedos has been the leader in integrating participative approaches, arts and cinema in our Faculty curriculum and in dental education at large. Recently, Christophe has developed workshops and teaching materials to familiarize our students with special care needs and most specifically individuals with physical disabilities and reduced mobility. This initiative has encouraged our Faculty to create a clinical unit for these underserved populations. This outcome alone stands as impressive proof of his abilities.
His teaching content and approach for undergraduate and graduate students and the broader professional and public communities is highly innovative. Furthermore, his teaching is not just focused on the immediate learning outcomes of students and other learners but on promoting a paradigm shift in the way we teach dentistry and the way dental care is provided in our communities. Christophe’s work focuses on a model of “social dentistry” that aims to promote a discussion of patient-centred care and a focus on those sectors of society that are least able to access care for a range of reasons. He relies on transformative learning theories and uses visual arts and the humanities in his courses. Among his innovations, in his role as Co-Director of the Reseau de recherche en sante buccodentaire et osseuse, he has initiated the use of cartoons to translate research findings to the public and professions. His vision for dental education stipulates that dental schools should:
- Adopt biopsychosocial training frameworks to replace the dominant biomedical perspective.
- Increase the weight of “structural competencies” (social dentistry) and embed them into all aspects of the curricula.
- Use transformative learning approaches to critically reflect on social phenomena.
- Offer transdisciplinary learning in partnerships with medical and non-medical schools.
- Tirelessly promote humanistic values and social justice.
In addition to the ACFD National Dental Teaching Award, Dr. Bedos is the recipient of this year's Dr. Howard S. Katz Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Bedos is an exceptional teacher and mentor who has contributed significantly to dental education by introducing critical consciousness, transdisciplinary learning and arts and humanities to dental education.