The mission of the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine is to provide outstanding programs in oral health education, patient care, research and scholarship, and service that are of value to our constituents. We accomplish this in an environment that fosters collegiality and professionalism that enables a diverse group of students to become competent practitioners of dentistry and contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and populations.
The Future of Dental Education
The School of Dental Medicine continues to make steady progress in attaining its $32 million campaign goal for the proposed state-of-the-art addition to the current building. The Discovering the Future of Dental Medicine fundraising campaign is the largest and most comprehensive in the dental school’s history, and is a component of CWRU’s university-wide $1 billion Forward Thinking campaign.
Funds from the campaign will make possible a 36,000 square-foot, two-story addition to the dental school. Phase 1 will include a new research floor and expansion space for new clinical areas; the second phase will involve the renovation of current clinics. As details begin to fall into place, the reality of improved functionality and a more inviting physical presence is becoming ever more tangible, with groundbreaking anticipated in 2013. Named giving opportunities remain available for those considering major contributions, while donations in all amounts are welcomed and appreciated.
“The significance of this campaign for the future of our dental school is transformational,” notes Dean Jerold Goldberg. “It will provide the resources we need to continually enhance our program and facilities.”
Emotional Intelligence Trumps IQ in Dentist-Patient Relationship, Study Finds
IQ directly relates to how students perform on tests in the first two years of dental school, but emotional intelligence (EI) trumps IQ in how well dental students work with patients, report researchers from the School of Dental Medicine and Weatherhead School of Management. EI influences how well dental students recognize and manage their emotions and professional relationships, explain Kristin Victoroff, DDS, PhD, and Richard Boyatzis, PhD, in the current issue of the Journal of Dental Education article, “What is the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Dental School Clinical Performance?” EI is the ability to read one’s own moods and those of others, remain calm under pressure and be optimistic and adaptable to change.
Educators questioned why some high-performing students in the classroom didn’t fare as well in the clinic. Researchers wondered if EI was a factor. The researchers recruited 100 third- and fourth-year students, who were asked to complete a 72-item questionnaire from the Emotional Competence Inventory-University. EI competencies are grouped in four areas: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and relationship management. The analysis looked at the student's clinical grade and the EI assessment to see if there was a correlation between high EI scores and high clinical performance.
Their findings showed that a high EI related to excellent clinical performance. The researchers found EI skills in self-management were significant predictors of clinical grades. Self-management skills involve self-control, achievement orientation, initiative, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability and optimism. The researchers concluded that teaching EI competencies could better serve patients and help students succeed. They recommended future studies extend EI assessments to practicing dentists to determine EI’s impact in the professional setting.
Jerold S. “Jerry” Goldberg has announced that he will step down as dean of Case Western Reserve’s School of Dental Medicine next year, but will continue to work actively on fundraising and related planning activities for the school. “This place has been a central part of my life since I enrolled here more than four decades ago,” said Goldberg, “I am proud of what we have accomplished together for students, community, and the field at large, and look forward to contributing to our success in new ways.”
During his tenure, applications have doubled, as have the number of staff, while the number of faculty members has tripled. The school’s budget has climbed by more than 300 percent, while the number of faculty with doctorates and/or board certification has quadrupled. In addition, graduate and specialty programs have increased substantially, as have their enrollments. In addition to the success of its educational initiatives, the school also witnessed dramatic expansion of its research portfolio. Funding has climbed from a couple hundred thousand dollars annually to a few million dollars per annum and the nature of the research has extended to leading-edge studies on AIDS, cancer, preterm birth and health disparities.
“Jerry’s passion for dental medicine and education has helped make Case Western Reserve a national leader in the field,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “We deeply appreciate his leadership and his commitment to continue to work for the future of the school.” The university will launch a national search for Goldberg’s successor, with a goal of having a new dean in place by the summer of 2014.
As Baby Boomers Age, Need for Geriatric Dentistry Training Grows
One of only 200 experts in the country, Marco Rouman has seen the horrific side of what happens when the elderly go without dental care. Rouman, who is launching and directing geriatric-focused graduate and predoctoral training programs at the School of Dental Medicine, described a patient who left a partial denture in so long that it had become overgrown by the soft tissues around it and had to be surgically removed. The issue of geriatric dental care is a growing concern for an aging population. And, as Rouman sees it, shifting demographics also provide an opportunity for dental schools.
“At [CWRU], we are performing a facelift to geriatric dentistry by redefining the scope of this program to include complex full-mouth reconstructions and maxillofacial rehabilitation. Our model will be copied nationwide,” he said. “Ten years ago, someone could graduate from dental school and ignore elderly patients. Graying baby boomers now make that impossible. Their numbers have driven the need for this special care.”
Rouman, who arrived at Case Western Reserve last fall to re-structure the geriatric curriculum, is designing a program that combines dental education and medical and pharmacology because of the many medications prescribed to older patients. Students will make “house calls” to nursing homes to treat patients who otherwise could not make it to the dentist. His program also involves developing inter-professional teams of dentists, doctors and nurses well versed in how oral health is linked to physical health. Additionally, a geriatric rotation will be integrated into the senior-year clinical experience.