The Journal of the California Dental Association published a series of articles on the role research plays in dental students’ education. The articles focused on why maintaining innovative research programmes is crucial in preparing students for their careers.
Editor-in-chief Dr Kerry K. Carney said the drive for new knowledge needed to remain a core value: “Exposing trainees to the principles and practice of science fuels a sense of curiosity and is one of the primary tools for teaching critical thinking, which in turn promotes a habit of lifelong learning”.
The evolution of dentistry is directly related to research advancements, and this connection has always been relevant. Speaking to Dental Tribune International, Carney said that the idea for the article series came after hearing rumblings of a move away from research in some models of dental training, apparently for reasons of cost and efficiency.
When looking at the figures, those rumblings become quite loud. The author of a paper titled “The impact of research on the future of dental education: How research and innovation shape dental education and the dental profession,” Prof. Harold C. Slavkin, from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California, told Dental Tribune International that “the distribution of National Institutes of Health grant support is an excellent approach to evaluating the rankings of dental schools concerning the research scholarship by faculty, students and staff”.
He noted that approximately 15 US dental schools are quite active, whereas most US dental schools have little research activity.