• Combining Research Results and Dental Accreditation Requirements to Create Instruction Opportunities

      Shipman, Peter; Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library (2017-05)
      Objectives: The aim of this program is to expand librarian instructional opportunities and improve student performance in evidence-based dentistry (EBD) competencies. Methods: A recent librarian-led internal study of EBD behaviors of fourth-year dental students at external clerkships indicated poor recall of the EBD process (question, find, appraise, act, evaluate). A dental school curriculum subcommittee, including the librarian, is currently meeting to evaluate the presence of the EBD competency in the curriculum in preparation for an accreditation review. Preliminary screening of course syllabi identified five possible courses and two EBD process rubrics supporting the EBD competency accreditation standard. A need for further EBD process training by the librarian may be indicated by the low number of rubrics which correlates to poor student recall of the EBD process in the librarian’s study. Performing the study and having membership on the subcommittee gives the librarian a platform to advocate for instructional opportunities that improve student performance in the EBD competency standard prior to accreditation review. Results: The evidence-based dentistry subcommittee of the dental school curriculum committee was able to identify three more additional courses supporting the EBD accreditation standard. Assistance in EBD supplied by the librarian for first semester, second-year dental students confirms continued poor recall of the EBD process. This cohort of dental students was not in the original research study. The taskforce could not identify any fourth-year course work that includes support of the EBD accreditation standard. In the lockstep curriculum, there are gaps in semesters when students are not being tested in the EBD process. The dental librarian added two new instructional sessions after the research study (one undergraduate, one advanced education). Conclusion: Students are receiving exposure to EBD principles to satisfy the accreditation standard, but the lack of awareness of the EBD process indicates it may be difficult for dental schools to determine if new graduates can effectively perform evidence-based dentistry in future dental practice. The EBD taskforce believes more faculty development in EBD is necessary. The dental librarian will have a role in training faculty in evidence-based dentistry.