Focused on integrating instructive and clinical medicine into the practice of dentistry, the Division of Medicine plays an essential role both within the School of Dental Medicine and the community at large. The division is well-known throughout the profession for its expertise in educating students on the wide-ranging medical issues that impact dental care.
Through education, research and active outreach, the division not only addresses the dental needs of underserved populations, but also helps to establish a new standard of care for patients with medical conditions.
Education & Research
The division’s unique approach helps students be better dentists by increasing awareness of the needs of patients with conditions ranging from diabetes and heart disease to cancer to HIV/AIDS.
- Case-based, multi-tiered coursework in the practice of medicine; lectures and clinical oversight with more than two dozen New England Medical Center physicians; evaluations; and related training collectively prepare students to address their patients’ medical issues.
- Clinical training, including both dental clinic and hospital-based clinical rotations, provides hands-on experience in caring for medically compromised patients.
- Medical clinical consultations educate students on various treatment options, medical considerations and deviations in the use of medications during treatment.
- Clinical research on diseases, medications, medically compromised populations including HIV/AIDS patients and survivors of domestic violence, and other topics enhances professional knowledge and improves patient care.
Supported by a variety of grants, the division has a long history of serving the community. Services include:
- The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program, which offers free dental care addressing the medical needs of patients with HIV/AIDS
- The Dental Outreach to Survivors (DOTS) Program is a one-of-a-kind program that provides confidential dental care to victims of domestic abuse. Faculty-supervised dental students conduct a thorough evaluation and develop a comprehensive treatment plan before beginning treatment.
- Rapid acute-care triage for medically compromised patients needing dental clearance prior to organ transplants, cardio-thoracic surgery and other procedures, as well as post-surgery dental care
- CPR training for the School of Dental Medicine and auxiliary/externship sites, local dental offices, and various community groups
- Lectures on health education and prevention to community groups, along with health drives featuring general and oral health screenings
Health Policy Management
In addition to its public-facing initiatives, the division works to improve dental care through oversight of health care policies within the School of Dental Medicine. The division takes the lead in ensuring that care provided by faculty, staff and students adheres to policies and protocols, ensuring the safety of patients and caregivers alike. Through oversight and education, the division helps to decrease needle-stick incidents, ensure emergencies are handled correctly, protect healthcare workers from infection, and more.