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Report offers solutions to address decline in US dental faculty
Date:1/27/2011

ing mentoring programs should serve as cornerstones to help resolve shortages."

If dental school administrators were to develop in-school programs that identify students and specialty residents interested in the idea of teaching as a career then knowledge about those opportunities would increase, the report notes. Recent data show only 25 percent of current dental faculty aware that a mentoring program was available at their school, and 35 percent said they had never received any mentoring themselves. Within dental faculty that did receive mentoring, one in four said they were dissatisfied with the experience.

The report recommends dental schools commit to a series of seven specific steps toward developing successful mentoring programs:

  • Provide adequate faculty time for mentoring.
  • Choose and assign appropriate mentor-mentee teams.
  • Require regular meetings and follow-ups among the teams and the administration.
  • Involve department chairs in the process.
  • Develop long-range goals for the mentee.
  • Provide feedback and advice regularly to the teams from senior faculty and administration.
  • Consider development of cross-disciplinary mentoring teams on university campuses.

While mentoring should serve as the cornerstone for reversing the trend of faculty shortages, those programs alone won't address all the problems pointed out in the report, John said. Individual institutional and national programs should also be developed with goals of improving faculty compensation, allowing increases in practice time for clinicians, and allowing clinicians more freedom for consulting and lecturing opportunities.


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Contact: Steve Chaplin
stjchap@indiana.edu
812-856-1896
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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