Realigning biomedical science instruction in predoctoral curricula: a proposal for change.J Dent Educ. 2008 Feb; 72(2):135-41.JD
Currently in North America, there is an active dialogue going on about the state of predoctoral dental education and the need for curriculum change, innovation, and the adoption of contemporary, competency-based educational models. At the institutional level, curriculum committees struggle with requests from faculty to add new content to an overburdened didactic and clinic schedule. This article will describe potential solutions centering on the role and scope of the biomedical sciences in predoctoral dental education. The authors propose that dental educators and institutions reconsider the current admission prerequisites and curriculum content of the biomedical sciences in predoctoral programs. The proposed changes are intended to eliminate content redundancy between undergraduate and predoctoral dental education by integration of the biomedical sciences--in particular, biochemistry, microbiology, and physiology--into other clinically oriented coursework and learning experiences in the curriculum based on a pathophysiology model that fosters students' comprehension of the etiology of oral and systemic diseases encountered by the general dental practitioner. The authors explore how changes in the biomedical science prerequisites for dental school matriculation and associated modifications in curriculum focus and content would impact admissions testing, composition of national board exams, and strategies for teaching and learning within dental schools.