Expanding dental education partnerships beyond the four walls

Journal Name: 
J Dent Educ
The increasing complexities of health care that dental graduates must be equipped to handle require schools to develop new models of education in order to address these intricacies. To meet these challenges, it is the school's responsibility to provide an environment that fosters discovery and scholarly activity, embraces evidence-based philosophies, encourages partnerships with other units on campus and the community, including the global community, and recognizes the richness of diversity in both our human resources and our thinking. Beyond new curriculum initiatives within our school, we recognized the need to build strong partnerships outside our four walls in order to respond to the challenges confronting us. Four such notable recent initiatives at the University of Washington School of Dentistry discussed in this article are Regional Initiatives in Dental Education, the Center for Pediatric Dentistry: Program in Early Childhood Oral Health, Northwest PRECEDENT (Practice-based REsearch Collaborative in Evidence-based DENTistry), and Alaska Native Dental Health Aide Therapist Program. These partnerships focus on new models to improve access to care and to enhance the impact of research on evidence-based practice. These are examples of the many opportunities for us to act collectively in creating new models that ensure our graduates have the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to be competent oral health care professionals
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