To build research capacity and resources, as well as foster relationships with other researchers, all dental schools should develop and pursue collaborative research strategies that start with the academic health center or the university and extend to industry, government, dental societies, and other institutions able to support or assist basic science, clinical, or health services research.
To strengthen the research capacity of dental schools and faculty, the committee recommends that the National Institute of Dental Research
- continue to evaluate and improve its extramural training and development programs;
- focus more resources on those extramural programs with greater demonstrated productivity in strengthening the oral health research capacity of dental schools and faculties; and
- preserve some funding for short-term training programs intended primarily to increase research understanding and appreciation among clinical teaching faculty and future practitioners.
To affirm that patient care is a distinct mission, each dental school should support a strategic planning process to
- develop objectives for patient-centered care in areas such as appointment scheduling, completeness and timeliness of treatment, and definition of faculty and student responsibilities;
- identify current deficiencies in patient care processes and outcomes, along with physical, financial, legal, and other barriers to their correction; and
- design specific actions—including demonstration projects or experiments—to improve the quality, efficiency, and attractiveness of its patient services.