The UCONN Combined DMD/Masters Program is aimed at strengthening the interaction between behavioral, clinical and translational research and dental education. We propose two programs: a DMD combined with either a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Research (MSCTR). We plan a flexible program of study best suited to individual student needs that can be completed in five years. The MPH is a well-established program founded at UConn in 1984 and reaccredited by the Council on Education for Public Health in 2008. The MPH consists of 48 credits, including a practicum (internship) and either a capstone project or thesis. Dental students in the combined program receive 12 credits for work completed as part of the DMD program. The MSCTR requires 24 credits including a mentored research experience and was accredited by the State Board of Higher Education in April, 2008. We propose to enroll two students per year in the combined degree program, representing 5% of the entering class with ten students enrolled in the program over the five year funding period. The University of Connecticut has a strong clinical, behavioral and public health research program that will support the training of students in this program. Over twenty faculty members in the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine have volunteered to serve as mentors to students in the combined programs. Content expertise includes epidemiology, psychology, skeletal biology, osteoporosis, aging, addictions, periodontology, material sciences, quality improvement, nutrition science and oral oncology. The research experiences would encompass clinical intervention studies, community based interventions, epidemiology and clinical trials. The institution has vigorous recruitment programs and the Health Careers Opportunity Program directs numerous programs towards the recruitment of under-represented minority candidates. Both the MPH and MSCTR incorporate responsible conduct in research into their training programs. In addition, we will require students to complete the on-line CITl training in human subjects'research and we will conduct a mandatory annual seminar on this topic for the trainees.
This combined DMD/Masters program will serve to train a cadre of research trained professionals who will be able to fill the numerous vacant faculty positions in dental schools across the country as well as prepare practicing clinicians to evaluate new treatment modalities and participate in community based research teams.