Abstract Title

Clinical Externships for Dental Students and its Implications for Promoting Oral Health and Community Partnership

Lead Author Affiliation

Doctor of Dental Surgery

Lead Author Status

DDS Year 3

Expected Graduation Date

2019

Presentation Category

Community Oral Health

Introduction/Context/Diagnosis

Clinical externships for dental students provide an opportunity for students to gain experience in clinical settings and for students to begin taking on the role as a health care provider for the community. The Indian Health Service Externship is an annual program to fund students to provide oral health care in underserved health professionals shortage areas. The mission of Indian Health Service is to “raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level”. Participation in this externship has given students the opportunity to explore rural areas and encouraged students to continue to provide in underserved areas as practitioners. We want to highlight the importance of clinical externship programs in promoting dental students to provide oral health care access to communities in the future. We would also like to share our personal experiences in Wolf Point, Montana and aim to increase dental student participation.

Methods/Treatment Plan

The Indian Health Service Externship takes place for 2-4 weeks each year to encourage students to gain clinical experience and contribute to a health professionals who are working to improve the health of native americans and alaskan natives. We will draw from our own clinical experiences while on the externship as well as research data on the effect of clinical externships on dental and health professional students in their future career path.

Results/Outcome

Details of results and outcomes are currently being researched and analyzed.

Significance/Conclusions

This work is important because it can provide insight on how to make students interested in community health in the future and whether funding externships can have larger implications for improving the oral health of the community. It can inform policy making because funding externships is a low cost compared to the amount that the future student health provider can provide to alleviate disease in his or her community. Both dental professionals and the general public could use this information to invest early in clinical education programs.

Format

Event

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Clinical Externships for Dental Students and its Implications for Promoting Oral Health and Community Partnership

Clinical externships for dental students provide an opportunity for students to gain experience in clinical settings and for students to begin taking on the role as a health care provider for the community. The Indian Health Service Externship is an annual program to fund students to provide oral health care in underserved health professionals shortage areas. The mission of Indian Health Service is to “raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level”. Participation in this externship has given students the opportunity to explore rural areas and encouraged students to continue to provide in underserved areas as practitioners. We want to highlight the importance of clinical externship programs in promoting dental students to provide oral health care access to communities in the future. We would also like to share our personal experiences in Wolf Point, Montana and aim to increase dental student participation.