East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine
|Type||Public dental school|
|Dean||Dr. Gregory Chadwick, DDS, MS|
|Location||Greenville, North Carolina, United States|
|Colors||Royal Purple and Old Gold|
East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine (ECU SoDM) is the dental school at East Carolina University. It is North Carolina's second dental school, which enrolled its inaugural class in the fall of 2011. ECU SoDM was established to address the shortage of dentists in the rural regions of North Carolina. It serves North Carolina statewide by educating more dentists, with the primary focus of student recruitment being students who desire to return to rural and underserved areas to provide oral health care. The SoDM plans to create 10 community service learning centers to be located in rural and underserved areas throughout the state. The students will complete nine-week rotations at the service learning centers during their final year of study.
The first mention of a School of Dental Medicine came from Phyllis Horns, then Interim Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences. On March 19, 2002, Vice Chancellor Horns announced at the Faculty Senate that ECU was looking into pursuing a Dental School.
On July 12, 2002 a feasibility study was reported at The University of North Carolina Board of Governors (UNC BOG) meeting at the request of Governor Mike Easley who noted fewer dentists in North Carolina were accepting Medicaid patients. It recommended the establishment of an academic dental department to support the expanded residency program, and a residency program in pediatric dentistry at East Carolina University. However, consultants cited cost as an obstacle of pursuing the school at the current time.
North Carolina is 47th in the nation in terms of dentists per capita and is especially lacking in dentists in the eastern part of the state. There are four counties, Tyrrell, Jones, Hyde and Camden without any primary practicing dentists. To remedy this situation, East Carolina and UNC-Chapel Hill have jointly developed a plan to increase the number of dentists in the state and established the ECU School of Dental Medicine.
On February 24, 2006 the East Carolina University Board of Trustees unanimously passes a resolution in supporting a Dental School. On May 11, 2006, the Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs of the UNC BOG approved the proposal to establish a dental school at East Carolina. On November 10, 2006, the UNC BOG unanimously passed the proposal. The UNC BOG requested $43.5 million each of the next two years to build the school.
- For the 2011-2012 cycle, a total of 399 applications were received for the 52 seats available in the class of 2016. The Academic Average for the DAT was a 19, along with a PAT Average of 19. The average cumulative GPA of the Class of 2016 enrollees was a 3.4, and an average science GPA of 3.3
- Only North Carolina residents are considered for admission to ECU SoDM, due to the primary focus of student recruitment to be students who desire to stay and practice in underserved and rural regions of North Carolina. Therefore, Out-of-State applicants are not considered for admission into the D.M.D. Program.
The East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine awards the Doctor of Dental Medicine D.M.D. Degree.
The curriculum of the ECU School of Dental Medicine will offer a distinctive mix of course work that in many ways resembles the model that was developed for The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, which focuses on training family doctors to serve rural counties.
- First year—Students study the cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems of the body. They will learn normal, abnormal and clinical medicine. Some work will be done with dental models, known as simulators, to learn fillings, crowns and other “hand skills.”
- Second year—Students learn how the human systems apply to dental health, especially how a dysfunction in another part of the body can affect the head, neck and oral cavity. They will do more advanced practice with models, as well as some time working with patients doing basic procedures such as fillings.
- Third year—Most of the students’ time will be spent taking care of patients under the supervision of faculty members in the Ross Hall dental school clinics.
- Fourth year— The fourth year is divided into 5 clinical rotations, two of which take place at the Ross Hall clinics in Greenville, and three of which take place at CSLC (Community Service Learning Centers) around the state. “ECU believes that the best way to encourage practice in underserved areas is to physically train dental students in these communities,” says Dr. Todd Watkins, assistant dean of dental education informatics.
The school also offers the following postdoctoral programs:
- Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD)
- General Practice Residency (GPR)
East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine was recently granted accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. It was approved for initial accreditation in February 2011 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2011.
Lack of dentists in Eastern North Carolina
The lack of dentists in Eastern North Carolina has been the primary motivation for East Carolina University to pursue the foundation of a dental school. North Carolina ranks 47th in dentist per 10,000 residents. Four counties, all in Eastern North Carolina have no dentist (Tyrrell County, Jones County, Hyde County, Camden County). Only eight counties have dentist to patient ratio which exceeds the national average (Wake County, Durham County, Orange County, Alamance County, Guilford County, Forsyth County, Mecklenburg County, New Hanover County). Twenty-eight counties have fewer than two dentists. Seventy-nine counties are recognized as federally designated dental shortage areas.
Community Service Learning Centers
East Carolina plans to build ten Community Dental Centers located in rural and underserved areas throughout the state. Fourth-year students will complete nine-week rotations at three of the 10 clinics. Each center will accommodate four to five students. Those students will be taught by dental school faculty members based in the centers, along with advanced dental residents. The students and faculty will offer much-needed dental care to citizens in the areas surrounding the centers. Each clinic will have an office with 14 operatories, X-ray equipment, educational spaces, among other things.
As of June 1, 2012, the SoDM has announced the first 6 locations of the Community Service Learning Centers:
Two of the announced clinics are located in the east: Ahoskie and Elizabeth City. One, in Lillington, is located in the central/sandhills part of the state. And two, Sylva and Spruce Pine, are located in the western part of the state. Lexington is located in the Piedmont/Triad area of North Carolina.
On October 20, 2009, the first three locations were announced: Ahoskie, Elizabeth City and Sylva. The Ahoskie clinic will be located beside Roanoke-Chowan Hospital. The Elizabeth City clinic is planned to be built on a parcel of land across from Albemarle Hospital and College of The Albemarle. The Sylva clinic will be located on a site at Southwestern Community College in Jackson County.
The first groundbreaking occurred at the Ahoskie clinic on August 23, 2011. The $3 million building will be located on 113 Hertford County High Road. The dental clinic will share the building with Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, which is a Federally Qualified Health Center. The 8,000sq ft, two-story building will be home to the corporate office of RCCHC as well. This dental clinic will serve the residents of Hertford, Bertie, Northampton, Gates and other surrounding counties.
On January 19, 2011 the fourth community dental center was announced. The center will be located in Lillington in Harnett County. It will be located beside First Choice Community Health Center, a primary care facility. The 7,700-square-foot (720 m2) facility will house 16 treatment rooms, X-ray equipment, educational space and more.
On August 2, 2011 the fifth community dental center was announced. The center will be located in Spruce Pine near Mount Mitchell in Mitchell County. This dental center will help people who live in the Mayland area, which comprises Mitchell County, Avery County and Yancey County. Blue Ridge Community Hospital, also located in Spruce Pine, will partner with this center.
On May 7, 2012, Robeson County commissioners voted to appropriate 2.5 acres of land to the SoDM for construction of a community service learning center in Lumberton. The University is expected to formally announce the clinic's location at a future date.
On June 1, 2012 the sixth community dental center was announced. The center will be located in Lexington in Davidson County, North Carolina. The Davidson clinic will be built on the campus of Davidson County Community College. Construction will be paid for with funds appropriated by the state to ECU. Construction dates will be announced later.
The remaining locations will be announced at a future date.
- "Full Minutes of March 19, 2002". Faculty Senate. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- newsobserver.com | ECU dental school OK'd
- Request to Establish a Doctoral Program in
- Boyd, Doug. "ECU breaks ground for Ahoskie dental center". Health Sciences News. Retrieved 25 August 2011.