Bulletin of Dental Education

June 2010 Journal of Dental Education Previews

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Ethics, Empathy, and the Education of Dentists
In this fascinating essay, Dr. Nash draws on the disciplines of philosophy, ethics, and evolutionary biology to argue for the importance of empathy in dentistry and to guide thinking about how to cultivate this essential quality in dental students.

Increasing Access to Dental Care
In a follow-on study to their evaluation of the Pipeline, Profession, and Practice: Community-Based Dental Education program, Dr. Andersen et al. examined correlations between students' underrepresented minority (URM) and income status and their intentions to serve underserved populations. Their results suggest that recruiting students from low-income groups (whether URM or not) may be helpful in producing graduates who choose public service.

Publication Bias and Evidence-Based Dentistry
Since dentistry increasingly relies on evidence-based decision making for treatment planning and therapy, the publication of scientific studies in the field has assumed more practical importance than ever. Dr. Crawford et al. discuss the problem of publication bias - the probability that studies reporting negative results are less likely to be published than those reporting positive results - why it occurs, why it is important for patient care, and how it can be reduced.

Teaching Methods in North American Graduate Periodontics Programs
Drs. Ghiabi and Taylor's survey-based project was designed to identify the most prevalent elements of the surgical training curricula in graduate periodontics programs in the United States and Canada. Their results document the number of procedures residents perform, structure of the programs, and teaching methods used. They conclude that there is significant room for the development of new and innovative teaching methods in these programs.

E-Learning vs. Classroom Instruction in Dental Hygiene Education
In this study, Prof. Garland compared the outcomes of multiple-choice examination scores with clinical competency-based examinations in a course in infection control for first-year dental hygiene students. Since her study revealed little difference in outcomes between the use of e-learning and classroom instruction, she concludes that either method may be chosen without detriment to learning.

Also included in this issue are the following:
"A Systematic Review of Computer-Assisted Learning in Endodontics Education" by Dr. Al-Jewair et al.;
"Students' Reflective Learning Within a Community Service-Learning Dental Module" by Dr. Brondani;
"A Review of Pediatric Dentistry Program Websites: What Are Applicants Learning About Our Programs?" by Dr. Lin et al.;
"The Influence of Technology on Reflective Learning in Dental Hygiene Education" by Dr. Hanson and Prof. Alexander;
"The Chamfer Finish Line: Preclinical Student Performance Using Different Bur Designs" by Dr. Mansueto et al.; and
"Brazilian Dentists' Attitudes About Medical Emergencies During Dental Treatment" by Dr. Arsati et al.

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