Bulletin of Dental Education

MedEdPORTAL© January 2023 Highlights

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MedEdPORTAL is a peer-reviewed journal of teaching and learning resources in the health professions, published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in partnership with the American Dental Education Association.

MedEdPORTAL and ADEA invite educators to submit stand-alone teaching or learning modules that have been tested in the classroom, preclinical laboratory or clinic educational materials that aim to improve patient care. The learners must include training or practicing physicians or dentists (e.g., professional school, residency, faculty development, continuing professional development) and may include trainees or practitioners across the health professions.

The vision of MedEdPORTAL is to:

  • Serve as the premier clearinghouse of high-quality, peer-reviewed health education tools;
  • Promote interprofessional collaboration by facilitating the open exchange of educational resources across the health professions; and
  • Equip health professionals across the continuum with effective and efficient educational resources to improve patient care.

Special Collections and Call for Submissions

In addition to general submissions focused on dental and medical education, MedEdPORTAL invites authors to submit their works for publication to the following Special Collections:

Anti-racism in Medicine

As a journal of health professions educational resources, it is MedEdPORTAL’s responsibility to name racism as a barrier to equity and to work toward dismantling systems of oppression within our profession through training and education. The MedEdPORTAL Anti-racism in Medicine Collection provides educators with practice- based, peer-reviewed resources to teach anti-racist knowledge and clinical skills, elevate the educational scholarship of anti-racist curricula, and aims to convene a community of collaborators dedicated to the elimination of racism within medical education.

MedEdPORTAL seeks teaching activities and assessment approaches directly related to:

  • Racism
  • Microaggressions
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Implicit bias, health disparities, and/or social determinants of health where racism is a significant component 

Language-appropriate Health Care and Medical Language Education Collection

Recognizing the paucity of existing curricula that teaches students and practitioners how to provide equitable patient-centered language-appropriate care, this collection provides educators with practice-based, peer-reviewed resources to teach:

  1. Language-concordant clinical and communication skills relevant to specific populations with NELP (e.g., medical Spanish, medical Korean or other focused medical language educational interventions),
  2. Clinical strategies to effectively communicate with patients who have conditions affecting sensory or cognitive function (e.g., deafness, visual impairment, aphasia, autism), and
  3. Knowledge and clinical skills needed to access and collaborate with medical interpreters and other health care team members (e.g., patient navigators, community health workers, etc.) who can enhance language-appropriate care. 

Telehealth Education Collection

Telehealth is defined as the use of electronic communications technology to provide care at a distance, including patient portals, eConsults, video visits, and remote patient monitoring. As health systems increasingly use telehealth to provide care delivery, it is important to disseminate best practices across the field, promoting their integration into training and curricula across UME, GME, and continuing education (CE).

Emerging Didactic and Clinical Technologies in Dental Education Collection

The number of emerging technologies that have the potential to improve educational delivery and patient care in dental medicine is expanding at a rapid rate. Examples include genomic dental medicine, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, advanced diagnostic technologies, classroom learning technologies, virtual reality, computer-assisted design/computer-assisted manufacturing, robotics, digital treatment planning, emerging technologic approaches to disease diagnosis and management, electronic health record advances, and artificial intelligence. Incorporating these emerging didactic and clinical technologies into the classroom is critical to the education of future dentists.

MedEdPORTAL invites authors to submit their works for publication in this special collection. For questions related to this Call for Submissions, please contact Paul C. Edwards, D.D.S., M.Sc., MedEdPORTAL Associate Editor, at pcedward@iu.edu.

Featured MedEdPORTAL Publications

Highlights of recent MedEdPORTAL publications of interest to the dental education community. These resources, selected by MedEdPORTAL’s ADEA Associate Editor, Paul C. Edwards, cover a range of topics published as stand-alone teaching or learning modules that have been implemented and evaluated in health education settings.

Bias Breakers: Continuous Practice for Admissions and Selection Committees

Sunny Nakae, Ph.D., M.S.W.; Ann-Gel Palermo, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.; Mary Sun; Roohi Byakod; Tammy La

When cultivating a climate that mitigates structural and interpersonal bias during admissions and selection committee processes and deliberations, stand-alone training without self-reflection experiences that typically take place during the initial onboarding of committee members are likely not as effective as continuously engaging committee members in the recognition of biases. As outlined by the authors of this educational module, their “Bias Breakers workshop” is intended to “improve upon existing efforts to address bias in admissions and selection committee practices by leveraging reflection and self-awareness as vehicles to identify and name both structural and interpersonal biases deeply embedded in individual mindsets and in the practices of admissions and selection committee environments.”

This educational module incorporates several components, including an interactive PowerPoint presentation comprising an overview of 23 cognitive biases with mitigation strategies and included opportunities for reflection, a facilitator guide, a bias reference sheet for committee members to have on hand for review during committee meetings and pre- and post-workshop evaluation tools asking attendees to assess their knowledge and skills around bias recognition and mitigation before and after the workshop.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Maximizing Impacts in Medical Education and Health Care

Aaron Garcia; Aaron Lapidus; Mario Lorenzana De Witt, John Jawiche; Maria Macias Lopez; Sunny Nakae, M.S.W., Ph.D.; Hyacinth Mason, Ph.D., M.P.H., CHES

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was introduced in 2012 to protect individuals brought to the United States at age 16 or younger from deportation and provide work authorization. As noted by the authors, DACA recipients, coming largely from medically underserved communities, can have an important role filling critical gaps in medical care.

The goal of this module is to engage individuals who contribute to institutional decision-making, including administration, faculty and admissions staff, to implement policies and procedures that better support DACA recipients applying to health care educational programs by enhancing medical educators’ and administrators’ understanding of the challenges faced by DACA recipients. Although targeted specifically at medical school admissions, many of the issues and approaches discussed in this module are readily applicable to the dental school admissions setting.

This educational module comprises the necessary components for institutions to implement a one-hour interactive workshop to provide learners with a detailed understanding of DACA policy and its impact on health care education and to engage participants to identify actionable steps for overcoming barriers faced by DACA recipients. This resource includes a PowerPoint slide deck overview of DACA, four case scenarios for small group discussion, a facilitator guide with instructions on facilitating a large group brainstorming opportunity for participants to explore possible policies to support DACA recipients at their individual schools, and pre- and post-workshop survey tools.

A Trauma-informed Approach to Peer Physical Examination

Sadie Elisseou, M.D.’ Emily Adams’ Maya Adler, M.P.H.

Many health care educational programs, including dental schools, utilize peer physical examination (PPE) as a teaching tool to help students gain early clinical experience and to correlate what they are learning in the didactic curriculum to the clinical setting. As noted by the authors of this educational module, “a personal history of trauma has been underrecognized as a factor contributing to medical students’ experience of PPE. The risk of distress when being physically exposed and touched by a classmate may be amplified for students who have experienced prior maltreatment, including physical, sexual or psychological abuse.” Despite this, and especially considering the widespread utilization of PPE, it is surprising that there is no generally accepted protocol for ensuring student safety while practicing PPE.

The goal of the authors is to share a novel curriculum for trauma-informed PPE that is based on the principles of trauma-informed care. Utilizing a flipped classroom model, the module comprises an introductory video describing the purpose of the curriculum, an article providing an overview of trauma informed care and a participant information sheet listing information about PPE, including benefits, risks and possible alternative approaches. An incident reporting system is described that permits participants to address concerns related to the PPE sessions, including student distress, inappropriate behavior, breaches of confidentiality or the discovery of a clinical abnormality requiring action.

Despite the approaches described in this module, the authors were not able to conclusively demonstrate a reduction in the number of students re-traumatized through PPE, leading to a recommendation that, if feasible, schools increase their use of standardized patients to mitigate the potential risks to students participating in PPE.

Published on January 11, 2023

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