Although the discussion that follows includes many references to the relationship between the dental school and its parent university or academic health center, this overstates reality. Some dental schools are not part of academic health centers, and some are part of academic health center campuses that are not part of a university (although they may be part of a state university system). Some schools are formally part of a university or academic health center but are physically isolated and, in some cases, fairly independent organizationally. For the sake of simplicity and emphasis, this report's discussion of the dental school within the university or academic health center is generally not accompanied by references to the special circumstances just cited.
The future of dental education is inextricably linked to its contributions to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of oral health services through education, research, and patient care. It must not only contribute but also be perceived as contributing—by society generally, by the dental profession, and by other relevant social institutions, in particular, the university. For dental education to meet the challenges ahead will require the support and involvement of the practitioner community as well as researchers and policymakers. The intent of this report is to provide guidance for each of these important groups.
Dental School Visits
11 schools—May to November 1993
6 states—California, District of Columbia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Texas
>600 participants—students, faculty, administrators, alumni, dental society leaders
Regional practitioner-leader panel, 16 members, met June 1993
Faculty panel, 17 members, met September 1993
Specialty panel, 9 members, met November 1993
Public Hearing and Panels at Committee Meetings
Testimony invited from more than 80 organizations
Oral testimony from 24 organizations, September 1993
Written testimony submitted by 30 additional organizations
Panel on Predicting Supply, Demand, and Need for Dental Personnel and Services (May 1993)
Panel on Financing Dental Education (September 1993)
Leaders of Dental and Allied Dental Organizations (various meetings)