Racial and oral health equity in dental school curricula

Christina A. Demopoulos, Richie Kohli, Sohini Dhar, Karen Raju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the current efforts to move dental school curriculum beyond diversity and inclusion toward an anti-racism approach to racial equity. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, an electronic Qualtrics survey was sent to 67 Dental School Associate Deans/Deans of Academic Affairs and 15 Dental Public Health (DPH) Residency Program Directors. Survey topics included oral health equity, Critical Race Theory (CRT), racism and the physiologic impacts of racism on oral health. Descriptive statistics were used to demonstrate frequencies. Results: Overall response rate was 31.7% (DPH = 6, predoctoral Dental = 20). The majority of respondents that answered the question stated that the educational program offered instruction in oral health equity (96.2%), racism (75%), and the physiologic impacts of racism on oral health (83.3%). Only 17.4% of the respondents stated that the educational program offered instruction in CRT. The main barriers to providing the instruction was limited faculty trained in the topics to offer the instruction or there was limited time to offer additional content in the curriculum. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate that oral health equity, racism and the physiologic impacts of racism are being discussed in dental education to some extent, but there is limited instruction in CRT. More robust efforts are needed to ensure dental students and DPH residents are competent in providing anti-racist and unbiased health care; there should be an incorporation of anti-racism standards in the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)'s predoctoral and Advanced Education Program standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of public health dentistry
Volume82
Issue numberS1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Keywords

  • anti-racism
  • commission on dental accreditation standards
  • dental education
  • health equity
  • oral health
  • public health dentistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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