Dental School receives $2.5 million for faculty development
Contact: Sheila Hotchkin, 210-567-3026
A $2.5 million, five-year federal grant obtained by the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio will support faculty development and training in the Dental School.
The project will provide career development training, including fellowships and workshops for dental students, residents and faculty. Investigators on the grant are Professor Jeffrey L. Hicks, D.D.S., and Associate Professor M. Norma Partida, D.D.S., M.P.H., from the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry.
The intent of the program, sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services, is to fund projects that address a current shortage of faculty in the primary care areas of dentistry and dental hygiene, and to increase access to oral health care.
Beefing up primary care faculty
According to recent national data from the Journal of Dental Education, dental school faculty vacancies are projected to rise to 900 by the next decade. The primary care disciplines are most affected, in particular general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, dental public health and dental hygiene. The major causes of faculty shortages were found to be high attrition rates through retirement due to the aging of the current faculty, the economic lure of private practice and high levels of debt among graduating dentists.
Included in the program offerings will be training in research design, evidence-based dentistry, practice-based research networks, community service learning, interprofessional rotations, opportunity for a Master of Public Health degree, and career transition training for dentists and hygienists in private practice, public practice and the military.
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