Clinical progress can only be made when treatment results and patient outcome are carefully evaluated and when new ideas emerge from basic science. As such, a university provides a unique setting where clinical departments are strengthened and heavily influenced by their research counterparts.
The same applies to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Leuven University Hospitals. At least 3 complementary units are feeding the clinic with essential input: the department of oral and maxillofacial imaging, the 3D-lab facility and the OMFS-IMPATH research unit. Whereas the imaging department and the 3D-lab facility are fully integrated in the workflow of the daily clinic, the research department remains a separate unit, albeit both functionally and architectonically closely related to the clinical department.
While many countries are building walls and protective measures against the inflow of foreign instream, research units remain meeting places for scientific young capital from all over the world. OMFS-IMPATH houses no less than 17 different nationalities, who all share a common goal. The society should cherish the research facilities at universities as these are the beacons of hope in dark times.