Inter-disciplinary Resources Supporting Dental Education
Recent conversations with dental educators have given us a new perspective on the value of reaching across professions to find resources to help prepare the dental professionals of tomorrow. By drawing on inter- or cross-disciplinary resources to prepare health professionals we can strengthen their ability to work as part of a team and improve their ability to deliver effective, patient-centered care.
At Exam Master we serve a variety of health professions with various resources from readiness on the front end of the curriculum, board preparation on the back end, and everything in between. We have always operated under the theory and belief that the educational content and methods of instruction and training in one discipline are likely to have at least some relevance and value to other health disciplines. Assessing specific clinical skills or procedures is one such example, where the value of high quality, objective approaches need not be limited to one discipline but can serve any discipline where such assessments are necessary to measure competence.
Such is the case with Dentistry. In our recent conversations with dental educators, it became clear that many of our pharmacy and medicine resources may have value to them in ways we had not considered previously. One such example is our pharmacy-based resource called Commonly Prescribed Medications Review. It is designed to help pharmacy students know inside and out the top medications used in the United States with a focus on seven key attributes.
We’ve had dental educators tell us they would value having a similar resource to help their dental students understand the medications they prescribe and use and, most importantly, the medications their patients are likely to be taking. Why is this important? It is important for dental students (and dentists) to understand drug interactions, and it is important for them to know about the medications that other health care providers might be prescribing to their patients.
Pharmacology is another area where we find that many of the health disciplines need to understand the concepts as a foundation for their practice. Pharmacology is the branch of medical science concerned with the uses, effects, and modes of action of drugs. We often hear from educators across disciplines that their students struggle with understanding the important concepts in pharmacology. We have also received feedback from dental educators that inter- or cross-disciplinary resources can be of value in helping their students grasp this important domain.
Biochemistry and microbiology are other important medical subjects that we see of high relevance to a wide variety of disciplines including dentistry. Providing dental students with clinical scenarios where these important subjects are broken down and explained can improve dental students’ grounding in the biomedical sciences. This also helps to explain why we have seen dental educators express interest in having their students exposed to some of our family medicine questions and clinical scenarios. After all, dentists care about the whole patient and want to treat their patients holistically.
So, if you are having a conversation with us, let’s broaden the discussion across disciplines to see what might be best suited to support your mission.