2016-17 General Bulletin

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Dual-Degree Program

Doctor of Dental Medicine and Master of Public Health

The Case Western Reserve University offers a dual degree program in dental medicine and public health: Doctor of Dental Medicine and Master of Public Health (DMD-MPH).  This five-year program is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Predoctoral Training in Public Health Dentistry Training.  One of the five years of the dual degree program must be dedicated to MPH courses, which can be either before the first DMD year, between the 1st and 2nd DMD years, or between the 2nd and 3rd DMD years.  Other possible options for the dedicated MPH year will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Purpose

One of the primary goals of the American Dental Association (ADA) is to “Promote the oral health of the public”.  Dental public health is one of the nine recognized specialties of the ADA, and is defined as “the art and science of preventing oral diseases and promoting oral health through organized community efforts”.  The objective of the five-year dual degree program is to impart knowledge and skills necessary to expand the practice of dentistry into the community in a proactive way that fosters improved oral health, and as a direct result, yields improved overall health of the populations involved. 

Curriculum

The DMD curriculum consists of 141.5 credit hours and the MPH curriculum consists of 42 credit hours. The latter includes 29 credit hours of didactic MPH courses, 4 credits for DMD course work, participation in a seminar series, and 9 credit hours for the culminating experience.  Of the 29 credit hours of didactic curriculum, 21 must be from core MPH courses.  The nine hours of culminating experience includes 6 hours of a capstone project and 3 hours of a public health practicum.  Dual degree students are required to enroll in electives as well, which would depend on their public health major. Information about the MPH program can be found here

Features

Each dual degree student will be assigned advisor(s) who will advise and guide them towards completing the program.  In addition to didactic courses, the DMD-MPH program requires field experiences/rotations at extramural sites/clinics.  The student will also be required to complete a capstone project and present the findings at the Innovations in Population Health Conference, the School of Dental Medicine Professional Day, and at a national conference.

Merits of a dual degree in Dental Medicine and Public Health

Dentistry and public health are inexorably linked; Increasing need for public health dentists; Enhanced preventive dentistry skills in the office settings with a focus on improving the oral health of people; Improved skills in health promotion and disease prevention through understanding of health behavior and health communication principles; Increased ability to apply public health principles to dental health of populations.

Careers

DMD-MPH program offers numerous career opportunities for its graduates, which include: Clinical Practice at Federally Qualified Community Health Centers, Local/ County/State Health Departments; Indian Health Services, etc.; Administrative positions as dental directors of any of the agencies listed above; Research at teaching institutions, federal (e.g. NIH, CDC) and state/local public health agencies; insurance companies or dental industries; Faculty positions at dental schools or schools of public health.

Admission

Admission to the DMD program is required for consideration to the dual-degree program.  Application protocol for the DMD program is at: https://dental.case.edu/admissions/dmd/apply/  Prospective students are eligible to apply to the MPH program any time before staring their third DMD year.  Applicants must complete an online application for the MPH program (http://mph.case.edu/apply.html), which includes a personal statement about their interest in public health and professional goals; three letters of recommendation; GRE or DAT test scores, official transcripts for all higher education degrees, and TOEFL or IELTS if applicable.

Sample Template for Course Schedule for DMD/MPH (with MPH-dedicated year prior to DMD Year 1)

Year 1, Fall (12 credits)
MPHP 405Statistical Methods in Public Health *3
MPHP 406History and Philosophy of Public Health *3
MPHP 490Epidemiology: Introduction to Theory and Methods *3
MPHP 510Health Disparities3
MPHP 506The Future of Public Health *0
Year 2, Spring (12 credits)
MPHP 411Introduction to Health Behavior *3
MPHP 429Introduction to Environmental Health *3
MPHP 439Public Health Management and Policy *3
MPHP 433Community Interventions and Program Evaluation3
MPHP 507Building a Public Health Project *0
Years 2-5 DMD Curriculum: the year 2 DMD curriculum includes 9 dual credit hours for DMD as well as MPH program
Public Health Culminating Experience *
MPHP 652Public Health Capstone Experience6
MPHP 650Public Health Practicum3
* Indicates core course
Total Units33