Lauren Feldman, DMD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry), has received a five-year, nearly $1 million Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry Clinician Educator Career Development Award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The award will enable Dr. Feldman to develop a formal curriculum that will refine pediatric interprofessional education at NYU Dentistry, the most comprehensive oral healthcare center in the U.S.
The aim of the curriculum is to produce dental students committed to serving vulnerable pediatric populations utilizing patient-centered care and to advance the integration of oral health and primary health care through interprofessional education. Interprofessional education has been endorsed by the Institute of Medicine as a mechanism to improve the overall quality of health care and has been recognized as an important step in advancing health professional education.
“No single healthcare profession can tackle the health disparities faced by the nation,” says Dr. Feldman. “The collaborative work of healthcare providers can help close the health disparities gap,” she adds.
Career development for Dr. Feldman will include completion of a Master’s in Public Health degree with a concentration in Public Health Policy, culminating in the enhancement of publically-available tools and resources detailing basic oral health concepts for non-dental professionals.
Existing partnerships with NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, NYU School of Medicine, NYU Steinhardt Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, and with numerous New York City community-based sites, will provide an environment for interprofessional collaboration to deliver patient-centered care. Amr Moursi, DDS, PhD, professor and chair of the NYU Department of Pediatric Dentistry, said: “Integrative health is the future of health care and with this grant we will be able to build on our collaborations across the University and the community to enhance interprofessional education, thereby preparing our graduates to be among the nation’s leaders in collaborative care.”
Dr. Feldman will develop a training plan that will establish didactic and standardized clinical experiences in interprofessional collaboration for each student. The plan will integrate topics including respectful communication, an understanding of team dynamics in the promotion of population health, cultural competency, improving care for vulnerable populations, and innovative approaches to reducing barriers to access to care and to the integration or oral health and primary care into the predoctoral curriculum. Collaboration with NYU Dentistry’s Office of Faculty Development will enable standardized training for faculty leading interprofessional experiences.
Measured outcomes will include:
- Completion of didactic curriculum and clinical collaborative experience by each DDS student
- Successful training of faculty
- Successful collection of data from student and faculty self-reflections and assessments
- School-wide entrance and exit surveys measuring attitudes and behavioral intent to provide care for underserved populations, and
- Electronic surveys of dental graduates on practice location and career activities.
The impact of this program is expected to be far-reaching, inasmuch as students come to NYU Dentistry from all 50 states and often return home to serve their local communities. Moreover, the curriculum will be open for adaptation by other universities so that training plan activities can be easily replicated by an institution with affiliated healthcare training sites interested in collaboration.
“The ultimate goal,” says Dr. Feldman, “is to increase the number of graduates practicing in underserved areas across the nation and to improve patient services and the quality of care they provide.”
About NYU College of Dentistry
Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating more than 8 percent of all dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a highly diverse student body. Visit http://dental.nyu.edu for more.