WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#DEI– In an effort to drive positive change, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) has released a special edition of its peer-reviewed journal devoted entirely to diversity, equity, inclusion and membership in dental education.
The authors of the 23 articles in the September 2022 issue of the Journal of Dental Education not only describe and address the current environment of their subjects, but they also offer proposed strategies for effecting change. The content is divided into five main sections:
- Establish frameworks for anti-racism and structural competence in dental education,
- Explore recruitment and admissions practices to increase student diversity,
- Advance gender equity and opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community,
- Strategies for increasing color faculty in dental education and
- Improving access to oral health care for vulnerable populations
According to Michael S. Reddy, DMD, DMSc., JDE Editor and Dean of the University, the idea for this special issue was born out of powerful forces that reshaped the entire country, including the COVID-19 pandemic in courses and a series of movements promoting social justice. of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry.
“The advent of the pandemic has threatened to disrupt the preparation of a health workforce to meet the needs of our nation,” he said. “Similarly, it has led to a national increase in awareness of social justice gaps and underscored the possibility of transforming healthcare education. We were delighted to bring together and highlight the pioneering work of forward-thinking scholars who have defined a vision of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in dental education.
Romesh Nalliah, DDS, MHCM, associate editor of the JDE and associate dean of patient services at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, said the JDE the editors felt compelled to publish this special issue.
“We’d be in the sand if we didn’t recognize that race and racism are critical issues in dental education and dentistry,” he said. “I am very proud that the Journal of Dental Education expands the conversation on this topic with a powerful special issue.
The issue also includes an association report that provides a summary of an ADEA President’s Symposium on Men of Color in the Health Professions. The event took place on March 20, 2022 as part of the 2022 ADEA Annual Session and Expo in Philadelphia and reflects the commitment of ADEA President and CEO Karen P. West, DMD, MPH, to advance diversity and inclusion in dental education.
“With this special edition of JDE, we have invited some of our brightest minds to heighten our awareness of the issues we face and the opportunities before us – and to challenge ourselves to do better to to make dental education more representative of the rich diversity of our country.” said Dr. West. “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of the authors for taking the time to share their insights, experiences, and expertise. .”
JDE special issue opens with an introduction by Jeanne C. Sinkford, DDS, MS, PhD., FACD, FICD, and Sonya G. Smith, Ed.D., JD, M.Ed, which details the changes and challenges shaping the dental education. Dr. Smith is ADEA’s Director of Diversity and Dr. Sinkford is a renowned scholar, icon and champion for the advancement of women, diversity and health equity in education dentistry and oral health. She was the first woman to become dean of an American dental school. Dr. Sinkford is also an ADEA Distinguished Scholar in Residence and Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Howard University College of Dentistry.
“Our collective efforts will be needed to create more inclusive, humanistic, accessible and equitable environments throughout dental education where each person thrives, feels a strong connection and has a sense of belonging,” they wrote. .
The special issue of JDE is the latest in a series of ADEA projects aimed at increasing the focus on diversity and inclusion and further advancing diversity and inclusion. The association recently completed a groundbreaking climate assessment survey that collected baseline data on diversity, equity, and inclusion in US and Canadian dental schools and related dental education programs. Additionally, ADEA has launched an ambitious Men of Color in the Health Professions Initiative. The project, supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, seeks to identify solutions that facilitate the recruitment, registration, retention and graduation of historically underrepresented men in health professions.