Dental Public Health Residency Academics Information
The Dental Public Health Residency curriculum is designed to provide the resident with experiences that result in achieving competence in the field of dental public health. At the completion of the residency, the candidate should have obtained fundamental knowledge of the philosophy, principles and practice of dental public health and should have developed skills for practicing dental public health, including research, administration and education. The program is arranged to address the ten competency statements, allowing the resident to develop core knowledge in the area. The required experiences and courses cover a wide range of information believed to be essential for graduates in the field of dental public health. The curriculum consists of four content areas, including didactic coursework, undergraduate dental teaching, research, field and clinical experiences. Upon demonstration of competency in dental public health, the residents are awarded a specialty certificate.
Upon entry into the dental public health program, each resident will prepare a residency plan. This plan outlines the proposed schedule for the year and is accomplished in consultation with the Residency Director. The schedule of rotations and didactic courses will be provided to assist the resident in preparing their plan. In addition, research topics will be identified in consultation with the Residency Director and the research schedule will be incorporated into the residency plan.
The curriculum is divided into four broad educational initiatives.
Dental public health residents are required to take coursework in Advanced Studies in Dental Public Health. This course meets once per week for three hours per week during the entire year of the residency program. This course is a literature review and participation course. Residents are expected to have reviewed the seminal and current literature about a topic in dental public health and discuss their findings with the faculty member. Faculty members in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry and other departments share their expertise with the residents.
Dental public health residents may take additional coursework in the Biomedical Core Course at UT Health San Antonio or take additional courses given at UT Health Houston, School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus. Residents are encouraged to attend lectures and symposia in the school and community that expand their knowledge about dental public health.
Undergraduate Dental Student Teaching
Dental public health residents are required to teach dental students in the Professional Ethics Course. In addition, residents will supervise dental students in community-based programs. Residents will supervise students during community based rotations in Head Start and school-based prevention programs.
The generation of knowledge and the application of scientific methods are a cornerstone to dental public health resident training. To accomplish this objective, residents will conduct two research projects in fulfillment of the expectation of the American Board of Dental Public Health. One project is quantitative and will require the application of upper level statistical methods. The second project can be either quantitative or qualitative. Because of the focus of the Dental Public Health Residency on South Texas and border health issues, one research project may be conducted in Laredo, Texas.
While the research should be focused on topics in dental public health, the work can include study in biomedical sciences, public policy, health care delivery or other topics in public health. The research report must follow the format outlined by the American Board of Dental Public Health and described on the American Association of Public Health Dentistry website. The plans, protocols and reports must be developed in direct consultation with the Dental Public Health Residency Director.
Residents are expected to develop a broad understanding of administration, programs and policy. These areas are taught in didactic seminar and through rotation experiences. In addition, residents are involved in dental public health practice and provide dental preventive and treatment services in public practice settings.
- Field Experiences: To provide an understanding of the administration of dental public health programs, dental public health residents rotate through the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Texas Department of State Health Services: Oral Health Group, and South Texas Environmental Education & Research (STEER) Program. Field experiences are provided to link between didactic learning and DPH application.
- Clinical Experiences: Dental public health residents provide diagnostic, preventive and treatment services as a component of their training experience. Through the program, residents provide services to children in Head Start, to elementary school children at our school-based sealant clinics at the Roy Cisneros Elementary School, Edgewood ISD, San Antonio, Texas and elementary schools in the Laredo Independent School District and United Independent School District, Laredo, Texas.
- South Texas Experiences: The Dental Public Health Residency at UT Health San Antonio is focused on oral health issues along the Texas-Mexico border. Residents are actively involved in providing services to persons living along the border and in the development of independent research that address the needs of the people living along the border with a focus in Laredo. As an introduction to issues along the border, residents will participate in the South Texas Environmental and Educational Research (STEER) Program. This program serves as an orientation to public health issues along the border, especially in communities surrounding Laredo. In addition, residents will spend a part of the Dental Public Health Residency program in Laredo conducting research and/or providing preventive services at elementary schools in our school-based prevention program.