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J Dent Educ. 2011 Nov;75(11):1411-6.

A case completion curriculum for clinical dental education: replacing numerical requirements with patient-based comprehensive care.

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Harvard School of Dental Medicine, 188 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The aim of this article is to describe the development and implementation of a case completion curriculum as a new clinical education model for the predoctoral program at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. In this innovative model, students conduct patient-based comprehensive care and complete assigned patient cases on which their performance is assessed, in contrast with a traditional model based on procedural numerical requirements. In our new model, senior tutors, who are full-time faculty members, act as group leaders responsible for patient assignment, treatment planning, monitoring of student performance, and verification of patient care. The number of completed patient cases in this new comprehensive care system increased from a previous average of 12.8 cases per student prior to graduation to 22.8 cases. Additionally, the number of patients who had to be transferred due to outstanding or pending treatment when their student provider graduated or because of students' need to fulfill discipline requirements has decreased from an average of 16.4 to 4.6.

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