The 1-year program will place dental residents in the school’s two community-based sites and educate them in providing primary care to vulnerable and underserved patients. 

The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine will launch a new postdoctoral training program in general dentistry specifically aimed at educating dental residents in primary dental care for vulnerable and underserved patients. The school has been awarded $2.1 million over 5 years from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 

Dental residents in this Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program will be placed in two of the school’s community-based sites—Penn Dental Medicine at Sayre, a federally qualified health center where the school has a four-chair dental care center; and Penn Dental Medicine at Puentes de Salud, serving a Latino immigrant community, where Penn Dental Medicine provides primary dental care within a three-chair facility. Dental residents will also complete clinical dental care within Penn Dental Medicine’s soon-to-open Care Center for Persons with Disabilities, and in the School’s clinical dental program for Survivors of Torture in partnership with Philadelphia’s Nationalities Service Center.

“This new program builds on our ongoing efforts at Penn Dental Medicine to address persistent health disparities and difficulties in accessing oral health care for vulnerable and underserved patients in Philadelphia,” says Dr David Hershkowitz, division chief of restorative dentistry at Penn Dental Medicine and principal investigator on the HRSA grant, who will be the AEGD Program Director. “It is our plan that program graduates will receive advanced knowledge, skills, and experiences to best serve these populations.”

The school anticipates the first class will begin in July 2021, with four students accepted into the 1-year program each year.