Redesigning the International Dental Studies Curriculum
In January 2017, Dean Nader Nadershahi charged an interdisciplinary task force of faculty with redesigning the first year of the two-year International Dental Studies (IDS) curriculum in direct response to the specific needs of the foreign-trained dental students.
Using a "backward design" model, faculty determined what pre-clinical knowledge, skills, values and abilities IDS students needed to treat patients safely in the same clinical setting as their DDS peers. The interdisciplinary task force met bimonthly, prioritized curriculum content over existing course structure, and identified multiple data sources to evaluate the effectiveness of the new model throughout the first year of its full implementation (2017–18).
Faculty feedback, guided student focus groups, Student Ratings of Instruction (SRI), and clinical productivity reports were used to evaluate the newly designed program where IDS students start meaningful patient care at the start of the second quarter (Q2) of instruction instead of spending a full six-months in pre-clinical training before entering the patient-care experience.
The report on outcomes showed an increase in clinical productivity in all but one discipline and equal or better faculty ratings of student performance— demonstrating that IDS students met or exceeded the same patient-care competency levels as DDS students by entering clinical training earlier.