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Pediatr Dent. 2008 Mar-Apr;30(2):141-6.

Advocacy training in US advanced pediatric dentistry training programs.

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Section of Pediatric Dentistry, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



This study: (1) assessed pediatric dentistry residency program directors' attitudes toward and involvement in advocacy training; and (2) identified types and extent of advocacy training in U.S. pediatric dentistry programs.


Between October 2005 and February 2006, all 66 pediatric dentistry residency program directors were invited to complete a 62-item online questionnaire. The survey investigated: (1) directors' attitudes toward advocacy training; (2) nature of advocacy training offered during residency; (3) extent of resident involvement in different settings; and (4) directors' involvement in advocacy.


Forty-two program directors responded (64%). Overall, respondents agreed that advocacy by pediatric dentists for children beyond the dental office was important and that residency programs should provide advocacy training. Most programs did not routinely offer advocacy opportunities in nonclinical settings. Over half of programs required community outreach clinic rotations for all residents. One third offered didactic curriculum in the legislative process. Over 50% of program directors reported personal involvement in legislative oral health lobbying within 3 years, but fewer than a third were involved with professional political action committees (PACs).


Advocacy is seen as on important in pediatric dentistry but variation in attitudes of program directors and program offerings exists in US training programs.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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