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IamnotadentistandIthinkthattheclosestIhaveevercometoadentalschoolwaswhenIwasanadolescentontheLowerEastSideofNewYorkbeforeitwashot.IwasapatientattheNYUCollegeofDentistry.NeverthelessdespitethisslightacquaintanceIfoundtheexchangebetweenCharlesN.BertolamiandAllanJ.Formicolacompellingfortworeasons.FirstasaprofessorofpublichealthIhavespentthebetterpartofthepastthreeyearsengagedinrethinkingthecorecurriculumatColumbiaUniversitysMailmanSchoolofPublicHealthandsoIhaveconfrontedthequestionofwhatitmeanstoeducatenotsimplytrainprofessionalswhosemissionistoadvanceourcollectivewell-being.Henceitwasilluminatingtowitnessandlearnaboutthefiercedebatethatcharacterizestheworldofdentaleducation.SecondassomeonewhohasworkedontheissuesofpublichealthIhavethoughtnotonlyaboutthedutyofprofessionalstoprovideneededcarebutalsoaboutthemuchbroaderandfarmoreimportantquestionsofwhatthestatehasadutytodotoassureequitableaccesstohealthcareservicestocreatejusthealthcaresystemsandtosecurethesocialconditionsthatpromotehealthandlimitdiseaseanddisability.InthisbriefcommentaryIcannothopetodomorethantouchontheseissues.eucagatagdssItisclearthatwewantdentistsaswellasphysicianstobetechnicallycompetentsothattheycandiagnoseandtreatthemaladiesthataffectus.Whatscientificbaseisnecessaryforsuchtechnicalcapacityisclearlyamatterofopendisputeamongdentalschoolsevenamongthoselocatedingreatuniversities.Asinterestingtomeisthequestionofhowdentistsareexposedtobiostatisticsepidemiologyandthesocialandbehavioralsciences.Onecanbetrainedtododentalprophylaxisfillcavitiesanddosimpleextractions.Buttounderstandwhydentaldiseasetakesforminvariousso-cialclassesandatparticularmomentsinhistoryrequiresfarmore.Tounderstandwhydietarychangesoccurandwhattheirimpactsareintermsofthedistributionofdentaldiseasebyclassandraceeth-nicitynecessitatesaneducationthatisbothdisciplinedandbroaderthanthatwhichisconventionallythoughtofasinvolvingonlyagoodtoolkit.Tounderstandtheforcesthatmakepossibleorthatcreateimpedi-mentstopublichealthpolicywithimplicationsfordentalhealthrequiresmorethandentaltraining.Finallytofullyunderstandtheethi-calresponsibilityofdentistsasprofessionalsandthedentalprofessioncollectivelydemandsaneducationthatgoesbeyondtheabilitytoreciteasimplecodeofethics.theCoreMiSSionoFDenTaleDucaTionralBayPDPrfssrdc-rctrfrthstryfetsPbhtmSfPbhtcbuvrstyIhavespentthebetterpartofthepastthreeyearsengagedinrethinkingthecorecurriculumatColumbiaUniversitysMailmanSchoolofPublicHealthandsoIhaveconfrontedthequestionofwhatitmeanstoeducatenotsimplytrainprofessionalswhosemissionistoadvanceourcollectivewell-being.201321