Career Development

Posted by Abrar


The dental service is one of the critical health services in Malaysia. Dental officers play an important role in providing treatment to patients, and planning and implementing government policies relating to oral health activities in this country. The roles and duties of dental officers have become increasingly important in this era of national and global development. Therefore, the ministry needs more dental officers who are competent, dynamic, willing to meet challenges and ready to serve their country and society regardless of time and place. Not to mention the need of the true Muslim dentist for the ummah.

Chapter 1: Roles and Responsibilities of Dental Officers

Generally, the responsibility of a dental officer is to provide treatment that is related to dentistry. The primary duties encompass clinical treatment, prevention and promotion, undergoing and organizing in-service training, policy planning and carrying out related research to enhance the quality of dental services in Malaysia. Among the major programmes which directly involve dental officers are the primary oral health, community oral health and dental specialization programmes. In addition, a dental officer is also responsible for administration and management matters in the clinic and also for the subordinate staff to ensure that every duty is carried out properly.

Chapter 2: Appointment

A. Terms of appointment

To become a dental officer, a candidate must:
1. Be a Malaysian citizen;
2. Be not less than 18 years old at the time of advertisement;
3. Have a Bachelor of Dentistry from a university recognized by the government and registered with the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC);
4. Have passed the Mallay Language (including oral test) in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or other equivalent qualification that is recognized;
5. Fulfill the criteria under the Dental Act and Regulations 1971 and is registered with the MDC.

*According to the list recognized by the MDC in 2009, Mansoura, Tanta, Cairo, Ain Shams, Alexandria, Asuit, and Al-Azhar university graduates recognized by them in Egypt.
You can see all other universities recognized by MDC in overseas here.

B. Procedures of appointment

Students with a Bachelor of Dentistry (BDS/DDS) from either local or foreign universities are required to obtain a set of application forms for the position of dental officer from the Human Resource Division, Ministry of Health which contain the following forms:

1. Personal Information Form (PIF)
2. Security Vetting Form
3. Malaysian Dental Council Registration Form
4. SPA 8 Form (priced at RM3.00 or via the website:

You can check them here:

The Human Resource Division of the Ministry of Health (MOH) will submit the applications to the Public Service Commision (PSC) for processing. Applications can also be made directly to the PSC via the website or the SPA 8 Form.

C. Training of Graduate Dental Officers

Dental officers are required to undergo graduate training or the First-Year Dental Officer (FYDO) programme for a year in MOH dental clinics and hospitals or in universities such as the dental centers of Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF). Dental officers (FYDOs) who are newly appointed to the civil service are paid a Grade U41 (P1T5) salary of RM2,366.55 per month.


D. Placement of Dental Officers

Dental officers are required to undergo compulsory service with the government for 3 years. Placement of the officers upon completion of the First-Year Dental Officer programme is dependent on requirement and vacancy of the service in any hospitals, health clinics, MOH headquarters, Department of Orang Asli Affairs and other health institutions.

Chapter 3: Salary and Emolument

There are to many criteria and types of allowances and incentives. If any of you want to know more about this, please help yourself. I'll only write basically on newly graduated candidate briefly.

Dental Officers may be appointed at grade U41(Newly appointed) and receive the following monthly salary and emolument:

Basic Salary - from RM2,366.55 to RM4,723.81
Fixed Civil Service Allowance - RM300.00
Fixed Housing Allowance - RM210.00
Critical Service Incentive Payment - RM500.00
Specialist Incentive Payment - RM1,300.00 (only for U41 Officers who have been gazetted as specialist only)
Total - RM4676.55

And if you are a dental officers of specialist / special grade, you can get *cough* minimum of RM18,591.47 monthly.

Enough with the salary, my eyes hurt.

Chapter 4: Career Opprtunities in MOH

A. Types of Specialization

Dental officers at the MOH can advance their career based on three (3) major fields:

1. Clinical dental specialist in various fields
There are eight (8) fields of specialization at the Ministry of Health;

1. Oral Surgery Dentistry
2. Orthodontics
3. Periodontics
4. Pediatric dentistry
5. Restorative/prosthodontic dentistry,
6. Pathology and Oral Medicine
7. Forensic dentistry
8. Special care dentistry

In addition, oral public health is a specialized field in oral health. These specialists are posted to hospitals and health clinics with the exception of public health specialists who are also posted to the headquarters, state health departments or district health offices.

2. Clinical Dental Officers
These officers are not dental specialists but are made up of experienced officers with a long service record with the Ministry of Health. Their primary role is to reduce the number of patients who need to be referred to dental specialists for emergency treatment.

3. Dental Administrative Officers
These officers carry out clinical administrative duties and may serve at the headquarters, state health departments or district health offices.


B. Opportunity for training

In line with the policy of the MOH to encourage a learning organization and continuous professional development as well as to improve the quality of service and produce competent officers, dental officers are given the opportunity to attend:
1. Short-term training and courses either locally or abroad
2. Specialist and sub-specialist postgraduate training locally or abroad
3. Attachment with international bodies or dental institutions
4. Conferences, etc. either locally or abroad

Application Procedures

1. The basic requirements to pursue postgraduate and specialist courses are:
a. Confirmation in service (1-3 years)
b. Satisfactory performance and certified by the head of depatment

2. After completing the 6-month basic specialist training, the officer has to apply to be gazetted as a specialist at the MOH.

3. The duration of the contract with the government for post graduate courses depends on the duration of the courses pursued.

C. Opportunity for promotion

The ministry constantly strives to improve opportunities for promotion for dental officers, particularly clinical dental specialist. However, the implementation of promotional matters is still subject to the terms of services of dental officers, which are:

1. A satisfactory performance
2. Supported by the head of department
3. Passed the Efficiency Level Assessment (PTK)
4. Vacancies


Thats all for now. This is a brief knowledge on the career development in Ministry of Health. For private sector, there are still many opportunities that can be explored. Please spend some time to learn everything that dental field can offer to you.

Dr Nur

23 Response to "Career Development"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    really appreciate this post. It's very informative. If you don't mind could you please let me know which site can we check the list of universities recognised by the government and registered with the Malaysian Dental Council for specialization courses? thank you


  2. Anonymous Said,

    Hi! The post is quite informative, thank you! I would like to ask tho, does the FYDO and 3 year govt service rule apply to foreign dental graduates from Malaysian unveristies?


  3. umair Said,

    very informative article this is very helpful to many managers or students..i like it and follow


  4. Anonymous Said,

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  6. thanks so much for the info. very helpful to me as a dental student.


  7. Anonymous Said,

    hi, nice blog you have here. may i know what do you mean by the dental officer ud41 gazetted as specialist?


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  22. Anonymous Said,

    Hi there, thank you for your post.

    Regarding Chapter 2 under requirement number 4, it states that SPM malay (including oral test) is required or it's recognized equivalent. May i know what exactly are the recognized equivalent(s)? I personally do not have SPM malay. Maybe you can pass me to someone to who would be able to assist me as well. thankyou


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