William J. Gies and the Gies Report

William Gies was a Columbia University biochemistry professor interested in dental education, science, and clinical applications. In 1926, as part of a series of studies on professional education in the United States funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Dr. Gies published a landmark report that established the importance of dentistry as a healing science and an essential component of higher education in the health professions.

The Gies Report, Dental Education in the United States and Canada, took five years to research and write. It consists of 250 pages of text and more than 400 pages of appendixes, including lengthy descriptions and evaluations of the existing dental schools, each of which Dr. Gies visited.

Since the Gies Report, there have been many other reports on dental education in the context of health professions education. The Pew Center for the Health Professions, the Pew National Dental Education Program, the 1995 Institute of Medicine Report (Dentistry at the Crossroads), and the 2001 American Dental Association's Future of Dentistry Report are among notable publications that outlined challenges in and perspectives on dental education. Most important, in 2000, the Surgeon General of the United States issued the first report on Oral Health in America, which was followed by the Surgeon General's 2003 National Call to Action.

However, Dental Education in the United States and Canada remains to this day the most relevant survey of dental education and critical issues within the field.