University of Pennsylvania School of
Dental Medicine (Penn Dental Medicine) has launched its second course through Coursera, the
online educational platform that offers universal access to courses developed
by top universities and organizations around the world. The course, titled “The Oral Cavity—Portal to Health and
opened for enrollment on Coursera’s website on Sept. 18 and
will continue to be offered on a rolling basis.
The course addresses the connections between
dentistry and medicine and is presented in an interview format led by Uri
Hangorsky, D.D.S., M.S., Clinical Professor of Periodontics
and Associate Dean for Student Life at Penn Dental Medicine. Specialists in
seven areas of medicine highlight the ways in which oral health and general
health influence each other.
“It has become increasingly clear that the
oral cavity is intimately tied to overall health,” says Dr. Hangorsky. “In this
course, we summarize all the recent advances and highlight the relationship
between different medical specialties and oral health.” Thomas Sollecito, D.M.D., Chair
and Professor of Oral Medicine, and Eric Stoopler, D.M.D., FDSRCS, FDSRCPS, Associate
Professor of Oral Medicine, both of whom also have
appointments in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, also provide commentary in
the course videos. Katherine France, D.M.D., a current oral medicine resident,
is the teaching assistant for the course.
Each week’s session features an interview
with a different Penn Medicine specialist. The topics covered include pain
management, diabetes, cardiology, various skin conditions that also appear in
the oral cavity, blood and bone marrow cancers, and certain kinds of head and
Dr. Hangorsky credits the ability to bring
this course to fruition to Drs. Sollecito’s and
Stoopler’s positions in the University of Pennsylvania Health System and close
working relationship with many Penn Medicine specialists.
“It’s really a tribute to Penn Dental’s Oral
Medicine Department that this course is even possible,” Dr. Hangorsky says.
“We're fortunate to be so well integrated into the Health System.”
The course developers see value in the
material for a wide audience, from physicians, dentists, and other health care
professionals to dental students, college students contemplating health care careers,
or any individuals interested in learning more about the oral/systemic health
connection. Coursera learners can take the course, including exams
and quizzes, for free, but must pay a fee if they wish to receive a certificate
documenting their achievement.
Penn Dental Medicine’s first Coursera course,
to Dental Medicine,” remains popular and continues to be offered
on a rolling basis. “In the first course, we’ve been able to reach 18,000
people in more than 100 countries,” says Dr. Hangorsky. “That’s more
students than I’ve taught in my entire career.”
The Penn Dental Medicine Coursera courses are
among the nearly 100 courses offered by the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera.
Courtesy of Beth Adams,
Office of Communications, Penn Dental Medicine
on October 11, 2017