The International Dental Physiology Quiz 2016 was organized by the Dental Society of the University of Malaya (DENSOC) in cooperation with the Malaysian Dental Students' Association (MDSA) and the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. It was an extension of last year’s Inter-Dental Physiology Quiz (IDPQ), which saw the involvement of 12 of the 13 dental schools in Malaysia. This year, the quiz has expanded beyond Malaysia’s borders, with teams from 16 dental schools participating, including Universitas Indonesia and Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia; University of Khon Kaen, Thailand; and University of Dental Medicine Yangon, Myanmar.
The main focus of this event is to make physiology relevant to dental students. To be a good dentist in the future, understanding human physiology is indispensable because it is the foundation upon which we build our knowledge of what a human being is, how to treat oral diseases and how our bodies respond to stress from different environments. This event also aims to build stronger ties between all dental schools across the region. It served its purpose as at the end of the day, despite the differences in languages and cultures, the event fostered friendship and a collaborative spirit with no barriers, not even invisible or unspoken ones, between us. During the nerve-wrecking event, contestants had to answer questions such as, “During exercise, how does the cardiac sympathetic nerve affect blood flow to the heart?” and “Besides the influx of chloride, give another ionic mechanism that can inhibit post-synaptic potential?” Questions were definitely hard but the contestants gave their very best and showed their true mettle. After the intense battle, the University of Malaya (UM) team walked away with the crown. International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) was the runner-up while Khon Kaen University, Thailand came third. Overall, the event was a success. Being part of the committee for IDPQ as well as its emcee, I would say it is a whole new paradigm for us to learn how to host such a big event. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the wonderful people we have had the privilege to meet and serve. Also, the support we have received from University Malaya’s Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and the participants has been tremendously humbling. We could not have gone this far without all of you. Organising an International event is tiresome but it is worthwhile and very satisfying. We have reached another milestone and unlocked another achievement, and we hope that our juniors can continue and build upon this legacy.