The goal of this program is to educate general dentists to become proficient endodontists who will serve the US Army, the general public and the profession at a high level of excellence. The major objective is to provide advanced training in endodontics to fulfill the specialty requirements as set forth by the American Dental Association, the American Association of Endodontists, and the American Board of Endodontics. This is achieved by the in-depth study of pertinent areas of basic science and correlation of the pathophysiologic processes with the clinical problems encountered in the field of endodontics. The resident is completely familiarized with the problems of a differential diagnosis and the treatment of pathoses of pulpal origin, provided clinical experiences in the routine and complicated procedures encountered in the field of endodontics, and provided training and experience in research design and methodology.
The determination of whether the program’s goals and objectives are met is made by monthly assessment by the attending faculty of the students’ progress in all clinical and didactic courses; by students self-assessment; outcomes of board certification activity and success of graduates of the training program; quarterly mock board examinations; formal quarterly evaluations of the students’ progress within the context of the Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Program in Endodontics, and utilization of survey questionnaires for long term outcomes assessment.
The percentage of the students’ total program time devoted to each segment of the program.
This time distribution has proven to provide the postgraduate student an excellent balance of clinical and didactic learning experiences. It complies with the Standards of Advanced Education Programs in Endodontics and satisfies the goals and objectives of the training program. All students begin the program with a pre-clinical laboratory exercise to familiarize them with the basic principles of surgical and non-surgical endodontics, in addition to becoming familiar with new Endodontic instruments and materials. The pre-clinical course also allows the faculty to assess the students’ various levels of experience before they begin treating patients. All students are required to do a research project, which will be presented at the Annual American Association of Endodontics meeting. The distribution enables the program to meet its goals and complies with the guidance published in the Standards.
The primary objectives of the Advanced Education Program in Endodontics are:
To develop educationally qualified endodontic specialists IAW the Standards for Advanced Education Programs in Endodontics who will successfully meet the criteria set by the American Board of Endodontics.
- To provide the resident with an understanding of the technological basis of dentistry in general with specific emphasis on the specialty of endodontics.
- To establish a sound biological basis for the clinical practice of endodontics.
- To develop an endodontic specialist who will be able to make independent decisions based on a thorough understanding of the total health care needs of the patient.
- To graduate specialists well founded in research principles, scientific literature and teaching so they may contribute to the growth of the specialty of endodontics and dentistry in general.
- To train endodontic specialists who will be able to effectively administer an endodontic service at their assigned duty stations following completion of the program.
- To prepare graduates to be mentors in the endodontic phase of one and two-year advanced education programs in general dentistry programs and to identify future mentors for the endodontic residency program.
- To prepare graduates to function in a combat environment as either dental officers, medical surgical assistants or triage officers.
Outcomes measures are used to evaluate whether the goals and objectives are being met. There is an ongoing assessment of student achievement based on daily, weekly, and monthly reviews of students’ clinical and didactic performance. Monthly evaluations of overall clinical performance are conducted by the Program Director and written feedback is given to each student. During the second year, research protocols and projects as well as research defenses are also used to evaluate performance. Written comprehensive examinations as well as oral examinations, simulating the ABE examination, are periodically given throughout the curriculum to evaluate performance. The instructors of the formal didactic courses taken at the University of N.C. School of Dentistry during the two-year residency give semester course grades. Close contact with graduating endodontists in the US Army keep the Program Director and Endodontic Consultant to the Surgeon General apprised of graduate Board certification and other major accomplishments and achievements following the completion of the Program.