William J. Gies and the Gies Report

Dr. William J. 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 consisted of 250 pages of text and more than 400 pages of appendices, including lengthy descriptions and evaluations of the existing dental schools, each of which Dr. Gies had visited.

There have been many other reports written on dental education in the context of health professions education since the Gies Report, including the Institute of Medicine’s Dental Education at the Crossroads: Challenges and Changesand the American Dental Association’s Future of Dentistry, as well as those published by the Pew Center for the Health Professions and the Pew National Dental Education Program. The Surgeon General of the United States also championed the importance of oral health to overall health by issuing a report in 2000, Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, which was followed by the Surgeon General’s 2003 National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health. However, despite time and further investigation, Dental Education in the United States and Canada remains a seminal piece of research within dentistry.