Infant Oral Health Program
Although the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental visit no later than age one, not all dental schools include hands-on infant oral health in their predoctoral curricula. This article by Dr. Weber-Gasparoni et al. describes the University of Iowa College of Dentistry's Infant Oral Health Program, which is a requirement for all fourth-year students. Not only has this program served almost 1,500 young children over its first ten years, but surveys of students and graduates suggest that the program is increasing the likelihood they will provide care for children under three years in their practice.
Recruitment and Retention of American Indian Dental Students
In this article, Dr. Lopez reports on a qualitative study he conducted of American Indian college students to identify factors that will help dental schools improve their recruitment and retention of American Indian students. These findings cover issues ranging from these students' motivation to seek higher education and their family and community concerns to factors that contribute to their educational success.
Managing Patients' Dental Fears
Dental student Ms. Poorsattar describes her positive experience in helping patients overcome their dental fears and argues that students should learn to use the many resources available to help ease patients' anxiety and fear of pain. In that way, she concludes that dentists can help their patients see a dental visit as a positive not a negative experience.
Credentialing and Privileging Faculty Members for Clinical Practice
This article by Dr. Kalenderian et al. explains the system that credentials and privileges faculty members at Harvard School of Dental Medicine to practice in the Faculty Group Practice. This formal process was approached not from the academic but the clinical practice side and thus provides a new perspective on this issue faced by all dental schools.
Defining the Value of Students' Community-Based Clinical Experience
Since the University of Colorado Denver School of Dental Medicine has operated a community-based dental education program for all its students since 1985, the resulting database provides a rich source of information on the type and amount of clinical treatment provided by a typical fourth-year dental student during a 100-day rotation. Drawing on this information, Dr. Berg et al. present a profile of the variety of experiences students gained, the services they provided, and the impact on their self-confidence and willingness to treat underserved patients.
Also included in this issue are the following:
"Gender Trends in Dental Leadership and Academics: A Twenty-Two Year Observation" by Dr. Yuan et al.;
"The Nature and Frequency of Medical Emergencies Among Patients in a Dental School Setting" by Dr. Anders et al.;
"Impact of Computerized Dental Simulation Training on Preclinical Operative Dentistry Examination Scores" by Dr. Urbankova;
"Blogging in a Biostatistics and Research Design Graduate Dental Course: For Learning or Interaction?" by Dr. El Tantawi;
"Health Information Technology Systems Profoundly Impact Users: A Case Study in a Dental School" by Dr. Hill et al.; and
"Nigerian Dental Students' Willingness to Treat HIV-Positive Patients" by Dr. Azodo et al.