UBC authors among the top ten in the JDE for 2016

The top ten articles published in the Journal of Dental Education for 2016 included one by UBC Dentistry authors Drs. Leandra Best, Joanne Walton, Judith Walker and HsingChi von Bergmann titled “Reaching Consensus on Essential Biomedical Science Learning Objectives in a Dental Curriculum.”

This article† published in April 2016 describes how the UBC Faculty of Dentistry reached consensus on essential basic biomedical science objectives for Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) students and applied the information to the renewal of its DMD curriculum. (Read the article in the JDE online here.)

Each year the JDE calls to attention a group of articles—the 10 Editor’s Picks—that represent exceptional scholarship. These 10 are selected based on quality of research and presentation, importance of topic area, and innovative approach. They represent the diversity of articles published in the premier journal for academic dentistry.

A list of the top ten articles may be found on the American Dental Education Association’s website here and are available for free through links to the JDE website until February 15, 2017.

The UBC Dentistry article details the use of the Delphi Method to build consensus among dental faculty members and students regarding the relevance of over 1,500 existing biomedical science objectives. The consensus reached by participants in the Delphi Method panels and subsequent numerous working groups of faculty experts led to a streamlined, DMD curriculum which better integrates the relevant biomedical, behavioural and clinical sciences, and incorporates the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry competency framework to prepare competent graduates for future general dentistry practice. Incremental implementation of the renewed curriculum commenced in 2015 where dental students are now engaged in earlier integrated restorative dentistry experiences and meaningful inter-professional activities, and have an enhanced focus on professionalism and ethics pertinent to dentistry.

Encouraged by the ranking of the article, Dr. Leandra Best, lead author and associate dean Academic Affairs, says, “It also signifies that UBC Dentistry has not only been recognized for scientific research but also for our educational research and teaching and learning innovations.”

The project described in the article was funded by the University of British Columbia Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund and by an award from the UBC Faculty of Dentistry Research Committee, and fully involved the Faculty’s education specialist Dr. HsingChi von Bergmann’s education research laboratory.

The authors express their deepest appreciation to the participating UBC Dentistry faculty members and fourth-year dental students at the time of research for rating all the basic biomedical sciences learning objectives.

Additionally, a special thank you is extended to James Pagnotta, media support analyst, Faculty of Dentistry Technical Support Team, for creating the electronic surveys and extracting survey data for the research, and to Maire Skelly, UBC Dentistry’s manager of curriculum, for extensive logistical support.

Finally, the authors acknowledge the support of the dean, Dr. Charles Shuler, and Academic Advisory Team faculty members who extensively reviewed data to validate and translate the research results into focal biomedical sciences areas in the renewed UBC dental curriculum: Drs. Nancy Black, Rosamund Harrison, Ian Matthew, and Eli Whitney.

†Best L, Walton J, Walker J, von Bergmann HC (2016). Reaching consensus on essential biomedical science learning objectives in a dental curriculum. Journal of Dental Education, 80(4): 422–429.