Clinical Research Rotation at the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research
This project aims to create a clinical
research course at the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research
(MCOHR) for third year dental students. Currently, dental students
rarely experience the unique opportunities this center has to offer
because it is offsite. The rotation could bring valuable
educational enhancements to the dental curriculum. There is
currently a lack in the curriculum regarding dental innovation and
evidence-based dentistry, yet MCOHR could provide the missing
The objective of this project is to make
MCOHR's exceptional opportunities accessible to all dental students
and to develop a dental student who better understands and
appreciates clinical research as an integral part of the dental
profession and can incorporate it into future practice.
We have designed a preliminary rotation
for third year students, and in the coming year will implement it
in the curriculum. This rotation will be required of all students.
We will also look to future opportunities to expand the course and
learning opportunities for students of all levels.
Dental students will become more familiar
with clinical research practices and issues specific to
human-subject research, specifically the roles of the research team
and the process and regulations involved in designing a clinical
trial. They will be exposed to advanced procedures not often
encountered in the undergraduate curriculum and will be able to
experience some of the latest technology used in dental care, such
as digital radiography. Finally, students will be introduced to the
process of evaluating a clinical trial for effectiveness of design
and implementation and begin to understand how this may affect
results and conclusions.
The coming year will bring new challenges
and will be a test of the course's strategy and value. We will also
create new opportunities for students to learn about evidence-based
dentistry throughout the entire four-year curriculum.