Community-based dental education models: An analysis of current practices at U.S. dental schools

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Abstract

Community-based dental education (CBDE) enhances students' clinical expertise, improves their cultural competence, increases access to care, and fosters community engagement. As emphasis on CBDE has increased over the last decades, the aim of this survey study was to determine how CBDE is currently being implemented in U.S. dental schools. The study used a 20-item, author-designed survey emailed in April to August 2015 to 60 of the 65 U.S. dental schools, excluding those that had been recently established. Of the 60 schools, representatives of 33 responded, resulting in a 55% response rate: 70% public and 30% private. These respondents reported that the extramural sites being used the most were community clinics (90.9%), Federally Qualified Health Clinics (66.7%), public health clinics (54.5%), and Indian Health Service clinics (42.4%). The majority of responding schools (63.6%) had ten or more sites available for rotations, and the rotation lengths were 1-2 weeks (29%), 2-4 weeks (25%), 4-6 weeks (29%), 6-8 weeks (3.2%), and 8-10 weeks (12.9%). Most of the respondents (78.8%) reported that their students were unable to be assessed for clinical competencies at external clinical sites, but roughly half allowed students to receive clinical credit. After students completed their rotations, the majority of the respondents (81.8%) reported that students were required to produce a reflection, and 87.9% reported that students completed a post-rotation survey. Considering the benefits of CBDE for students' education and for improving access to oral health care, it is encouraging that over 45% of the responding schools required their students to spend four weeks or longer on external rotations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1188-1195
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Volume80
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Clinical teaching
  • Community-based dental education
  • Curriculum development
  • Dental education
  • Dental students

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