NJ dental school gets $2.5M for faculty development

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-New Jersey Dental School (NJDS) has received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for faculty development.

The program will recruit and train 45 practicing general and pediatric dentists, who will then join dental school faculties in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, according to a university press release. Special emphasis will be placed on developing faculty members with expertise in treating underserved populations, with the goal of increasing access to oral healthcare.

The two-year program, "From Practice to Preceptor," is free for qualified practicing general and pediatric dentists. Those who enroll earn continuing dental education credits, receive free use of an iPad while enrolled, gain access to the school's resources, and receive a small stipend. Enrollment will begin this fall.

During the first year, trainees will spend one day per week observing and teaching in the clinic and preclinic. Working alongside experienced faculty, they will learn to deliver culturally competent care and to treat and interact with special populations, such as HIV/AIDS patients and children and adults with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.

Second-year trainees will plan and conduct community service projects that involve applying sealants to children's teeth at the state's at-risk schools. In addition, they each will be assigned a clinical research mentor and will develop a research design, which they can complete in the future to strengthen their scholarly activities. They will also teach at a community-based site one day a week.

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