There is general agreement in the dental education community that the future of dental education is in crisis due to the current and growing shortage of academic dentists. Causes include a shortage of mentors and role models, insufficient training for success in academic careers, and a lack of familiarity with the opportunities and satisfactions of careers in academic dentistry. The overall objective of this proposal is to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for the recruitment, mentoring, and professional development of the next generation of academic dentists.
The specific aims are: 1) to recruit participants to an Academic Track for future academic dentists by targeting graduate students currently enrolled in biomedical science programs as well as dental students and residents;2) to create an Academic Track for future academic dentists and the position of Academic Track Director who will coordinate the Track activities by developing, monitoring, and evaluating an individualized professional development program for each participant;and 3) to expand existing professional development experiences for Academic Track participants to enhance their clinical preparation with the research, teaching, and leadership skills necessary to be successful in an academic career. Innovative project activities include expanding recruitment efforts to target untapped applicant pools, creating an environment that supports the individual professional needs of each Academic Track participant, and designing professional development opportunities to facilitate transition into a successful academic career. Strengths at UCLA, particularly a strong research faculty and culture of inquiry, existing research training programs, and familiarity with mentoring future dental educators provide a firm foundation to support the aims of this proposal. The educational program will be administered by a Director, three Associate Directors, an Academic Track Director, a Resident Liaison, and an Advisory Oversight Board consisting of five senior academicians actively involved in educational programs and clinical research in the health sciences. Public Health Relevance: The future of dental education is in crisis due to the current and growing shortage of academic dentists. To address this shortage, we will develop and implement a comprehensive model for the recruitment, mentoring, and professional development of the next generation of academic dentists. This multifaceted approach includes broadening the pool of potential clinician scientists, developing the faculty/student mentor relationship, and enhancing professional development activities in the School of Dentistry. Our goal is to provide future academic dentists with the array of knowledge and skills needed to be successful in an academic career.
|Gironda, Melanie W; Bibb, Carol A; Lefever, Karen et al. (2013) A program to recruit and mentor future academic dentists: successes and challenges. J Dent Educ 77:292-9|