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Dental Faculty Development Center

HRSA and Eastman Institute for Oral Health Establish the First National Dental Faculty Development Center

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) selected the Eastman Institute for Oral Health (EIOH), University of Rochester Medical Center, to collaboratively establish a first-of-its-kind primary care dental faculty development center.

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The National Dental Training Center for Primary Interdisciplinary Care Educators will serve as a resource and training hub for junior primary care dental faculty in the U.S., preparing them to become inter-professional clinical educators capable of addressing issues of diversity and health equity, as well as leaders in primary care dentistry.

Throughout the five-year program, 12 trainees will learn a wide range of key skills, such as integrating oral health and primary care, setting up a teledentistry program, increasing access to rural and other underserved populations, and how to train other faculty in their home institutions.

Watch a brief video where Dr. Sean McLaren explains the program in more detail.

“Dental schools continue to face significant challenges recruiting and retaining faculty,” said Jennifer Holtzman, D.D.S., M.P.H., dental officer with HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce. “Evidence suggests that faculty in health professional schools can serve as role models. Well-prepared primary care clinical instructors, particularly those providing instruction on how to care for the oral health needs of underserved and vulnerable populations, can positively influence dental students’ and residents’ practice choices.”

The curriculum, which will be delivered over two cycles (two years per cycle), will be delivered zoom classprimarily online through individual and group sessions, with three weeks of onsite learning in Rochester, New York. Sean McLaren, D.D.S., M.S., chair, EIOH Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program and Walter J. Psoter, D.D.S., Ph.D., EIOH professor, will serve as project managers for the program.

“By maximizing trainees’ experience and competence to build resources and infrastructure at their home institutions, we are confident we can support the academic careers of junior faculty, promote clinical education in community-based training sites, and strengthen faculty recruitment and retention,” said Dr. McLaren.

“We appreciate HRSA’s partnership to help address this critical shortage of dental faculty,” said EIOH Director Eli Eliav, D.M.D., Ph.D., “and we look forward to working together on this unique program.”

Dr. Alina O'Brien"The program has exceeded my expectations. I have most enjoyed my classes at the Warner School, as well as networking and learning with my co-fellows and the faculty in Rochester. Because the courses have been so useful, I decided to continue my studies in health professions education and pursue a masters degree beyond this fellowship. Since starting as a fellow, I have been promoted to program director of the pediatric dentistry residency program at my institution and am using my skills to improve my teaching and program leadership. I am looking forward to the next year and would certainly encourage others to apply! It is a terrific opportunity for junior faculty to gain skills in research, program development, leadership, teaching (and much more) that they otherwise would not have access to."

Dr. Alina O’Brien, University of Pennslyvania
                                                  Fellow, The National Dental Training Center for Primary Interdisciplinary Care Educators


Dr. Lisa Lian

"Having gone directly from residency to a teaching position, there were some skill sets I was missing. This program is a perfect combination of things I wanted to learn as well as to beef up my research skills. I enjoy the in-person time together and the online classes throughout the year. The whole team has done a really great job putting together the programming, and I'm learning about the amazing projects going on in Rochester. I would highly recommend it to fact I've been telling my colleagues and friends about it." 

Dr. Lisa Lan, New York University College of Dentistry
Fellow, The National Dental Training Center for Primary Interdisciplinary Care Educators

Marie"The most enticing factor for me was the opportunity to learn from the educational aspect of the program. My whole life in academia was always overseeing patients in clinics this program gives me a chance to develop skills in designing courses and become more comfortable using Blackboard. I learned a different way to assess student progress and am already using different ways to provide feedback to my students.Thus far, the program has been fantastic. The courses are somewhat intensive but we learned a lot. I like the groups of fellows in the program; we complement each other. I enjoy coming to Rochester to take in-person courses and meet the other fellows."

Dr. Marie Latortue, University of Texas Health Houston School of Dentistry
Fellow, The National Dental Training Center for Primary Interdisciplinary Care Educators