ADEA CCI Liaison Ledger

Winter 2015: Women’s Health in the Dental Curriculum

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By Anthony Palatta, D.D.S., Ed.D., ADEA Chief Learning Officer

In 1999, ADEA published its first report on women’s health in the dental curriculum, and over the past 16 years, our Association has continued to draw attention to the fact that men and women have different health needs and respond differently to therapies. Today, as we enter an era of personalized medicine, few would deny these fundamental realities or the importance of preparing future health professionals to appreciate them. Last month, the first Sex- and Gender-Based Medical Education (SGME) Summit was held at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, perhaps marking the beginning of a time when content on women’s health across the lifespan will become the norm rather than the exception in dental education and the curricula of other health professions.

This issue of the ADEA CCI Liaison Ledger explores women’s health in the dental curriculum from three vantage points. In our Guest Perspective, we hear from Jeanne Sinkford, D.D.S., Ph.D., ADEA Senior Scholar-in Residence and a pioneer in this area who has spearheaded ADEA’s efforts in women’s health and expanding diversity in dental education, and Kim D’Abreu, M.P.H., ADEA Senior Vice President for Access, Diversity and Inclusion who has over 20 years of experience in programming to increase the diversity of the health care workforce. In our Educator Spotlight, we learn about Stefanie Russell, D.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor at New York University College of Dentistry, who studies women’s oral health. Our Interprofessional Spotlight sheds light on efforts in dentistry, pharmacy and medicine to use interprofessional education as a vehicle for integrating women’s health and sex and gender differences into health professions curricula. It also contains an invitation to the dental education community—students as well as faculty—to add to an extensive new collection of slides on sex and gender differences related to health.

ADEA’s most recent survey of women’s health in the dental curriculum concluded that, “While dental curricula covered a number of women’s health and oral health issues, the curricula of many dental schools lacked conscious or studied inclusion of gender.” Those educators who are ready to take a conscious step toward including gender in their courses will find in this issue a robust array of resources they can access to learn more about this topic and to begin their own curricular change efforts.

Upcoming Events 

Teaching Foundations in Allied Health Education
January 20–February 17, 2016
Five, live, online evening sessions
Learning Event, Online

2016 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition
March 12–15, 2016
Denver, CO

Profiled Campuses
Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health

Howard University College of Dentistry
Midwestern University College of Pharmacy–Glendale
New York University College of Dentistry
University of California, San Francisco
, School of Pharmacy


National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Office of Women’s Health
Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter? (Institute of Medicine, 2003) 
Sex and Gender Medical Education Summit
Women’s Health in Interprofessional Education (ADEA Symposium, March 2015)
Advancing Women’s Health Research: An Overview of U.S. Government Initiatives in the Past Three Decades (Journal of Dental Education, December 2014) 
Gender Issues in the Dental Curriculum (ADEA Symposium, March 2013) 
Women’s Health Curricula: Final Report on Expert Panel Recommendations for Interprofessional Collaboration Across the Health Professions (HRSA, 2013)

Note: Four recommendations from ADEA’s 2012 Curriculum Survey are included in the
HRSA Report (C-7):

  • Improve access to content through database technology.
  • Include a lifespan approach to women’s health dentistry in national examinations.
  • Provide clinical simulations and content that represent the diversity of the patient population.
  • Develop a set of educational competencies in women’s health for dentistry.

Evidence-Based Women’s Oral Health (Dental Clinics of North America, April 2013)
Oral Health During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement
Women’s Health: The Evolving Science (ADEA Symposium, March 2012) 
ADEA Women's Health in the Dental School Curriculum: Survey Report and Recommendations (2012) 
Moving Into the Future With New Dimensions and Strategies for Women’s Health Research: A Vision for 2020 for Women’s Health Research (NIH ORWH, September 2010)
Women’s Oral Health: The Evolving Science (Journal of Dental Education, February 2008) 
Women’s Health in the Dental School Curriculum (ADEA, 2000)
ADEA pioneered five International Women’s Leadership Conferences (IWLC), which focused on education, research and service as important to the advancement of women, and their importance in global health issues and outcomes. Proceedings from previous IWLC conferences appeared in the Journal of Dental Education

Open Courseware Resources 
Presentations From the 2015 ADEA CCI Summer Meetings 
Presentations From the 2014 ADEA CCI Summer Meetings 
Presentations From the 2013 ADEA CCI Summer Meetings 
Presentations From the 2012 ADEA CCI Summer Meetings 
Presentations From the 2011 ADEA CCI Summer Meetings 
Presentations From the 2010 ADEA CCI Summer Meetings 
ADEA CCI White Papers in the Journal of Dental Education 
Educational Sessions From Past ADEA Annual Sessions (2010–13) 
Educational Sessions From the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition 
Educational Sessions From the 2015 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition

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