Training Status and Interest in Certification of Nondiplomate Faculty Teaching Predoctoral Dental Public Health


Send correspondence to Dr. Kaste, Medical University of South Carolina, CDM, 173 Ashley Avenue, PO Box 250507, BSB 449, Charleston, SC 29425. E-mail: Ms. Sadler is with the Department of Biometry and Epidemiology, Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Weintraub is with the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Niessen is vice president, Clinical Education, DENTSPLY International and is with the Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas A & M University System. Dr. Narendran is with the Department of Health Promotion and Dental Care Delivery, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston. Dr. Hayes is with the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration. Reprints will not be available. The American Association of Dental Schools and the AADS Community and Preventive Dentistry Section funded this project as one of the 1997 “Projects of National Scope, Council of Sections Project Pool.” Portions of this paper were presented as a poster at the American Association of Dental Schools 1998 Annual Meeting held in Minneapolis, MN, and as a poster at the American Association of Public Health Dentistry 1998 Annual Meeting held in San Francisco. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official Health Resources and Services Administration or US government position, policy, or decision.


Objectives: A survey was conducted to better understand the training needs of faculty members without dental public health (DPH) specialty board certification who teach DPH to dental students. Methods: An 11-item questionnaire was sent to 193 non-DPH diplomate faculty members at US dental schools who were dentists and at least one of the following: a member of the American Association of Dental Schools Community and Preventive Dentistry Section, a referral from an academic American Board of Dental Public Health diplomate, a DPH faculty listed on the school's Web pages, a DPH contact from the AADS Institutional Directory, or the school's dean if no other contact. Results: A 70 percent response rate was obtained. Seventy-nine percent of the respondents taught at least one national board-related DPH topic. Among these faculty members, 67 percent have or are in training for the master of public health, 26 percent have completed or are in a DPH residency, and 63 percent desire training in one or more of the DPH topics. The majority (64%) does not plan to take the specialty exam, while 28 percent plan to take the exam within five years. About half reported no personal incentives to take the exam and 39 percent perceived no institutional incentives. Conclusions: These nondiplomate teachers of predoctoral DPH desire training, but appear to have barriers and perceive few benefits to achieving DPH board certification.