OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to pilot test the predoctoral dental public health (DPH) curriculum developed by the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) in various US dental schools and dental hygiene programs.
METHODS: Following the Lewy’s theoretical framework, we used all three curriculum tryout methods (laboratory tryout, pilot tryout, and field tryout) for the pilot testing process. Open-ended questions on the structure, presentation, and content of the curriculum were sent to faculty pilot testing the DPH curriculum to obtain critical feedback and comments.
RESULTS: Between Summer 2013 and Spring 2015, the curriculum was pilot tested in nine dental schools and seven dental hygiene programs with over 1,300 students. The majority of the comments from the faculty were favorable. Positive comments about the structure of the curriculum focused on the well-organized nature of the curriculum, the value of the instructor guide and speaker notes, rubrics, and the flow of the presentations. In terms of the content, faculty commented on the wide range of public health issues covered and the clarity of course and lecture objectives. Negative comments dealt with the level of detail, some confusing assignments, and outdated data. Problems identified in pilot testing were corrected in the final DPH curriculum.
CONCLUSIONS: The curriculum was successfully utilized in varied formats and well received. Through AAPHD, this standardized DPH core curriculum is now available for widespread use at dental schools and dental hygiene programs.