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Clinic Policy Manual

Clinical Competencies

Predoctoral Competencies

In the care of the child, adolescent, adult, geriatric and medically compromised patient, graduates from the University of Washington School of Dentistry shall possess the following knowledge, skills, and values. The corresponding Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) standard is noted with each competency, where applicable.

1. Graduates must be competent in the application of the basic principles of critical thinking, and problem-solving. They must be able to apply those principles to scientific inquiry and an analysis of research methodology, especially as they relate to the practice of evidence- based dentistry and the comprehensive care of patients. (CODA 2-9)

IntentThroughout the curriculum, the educational program should use teaching and assessment methods that support the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. Included in this competency are knowledge and skills associated with the practice of evidence-based dentistry.

2. Graduates must demonstrate the ability to self-assess. They must be active participants in the development of professional competencies and the professional values and capacities associated with a self-directed professional that is dedicated to lifelong learning.  (CODA 2-10)

Intent: The educational program should prepare students to assume responsibility for their own learning. Students should be taught how to construct for themselves a learning plan that will allow them to apply new knowledge to patient care over a complete career as a health care professional.

3. Biomedical science instruction in dental education must ensure an in-depth understanding of basic biological principals, consisting of a core of information on the fundamental structures, functions and interrelationships of the body This knowledge base must emphasize the oro‐facial complex as an important anatomical area existing in a complex biological interrelationship with the entire body.  In‐depth information on abnormal biological conditions must be provided to support a high level of understanding of the etiology, epidemiology, differential diagnosis, pathogenesis, prevention, treatment and prognosis of oral and oral-related disorders. (CODA 2-11, 2-12, 2-13)

4. Graduates must be competent in the application of the biomedical sciences to the delivery of patient care.  (CODA 2-14)

IntentBiological science knowledge should be of sufficient depth and scope for graduates to apply advances in modern biology to clinical practice and to integrate new medical knowledge and therapies relevant to oral health care.

5. Graduates must be competent in the application of the fundamental principles of behavioral sciences as they pertain to patient-centered approaches to comprehensive care. (CODA 2-15)

Intent:  Behavioral science knowledge should be of sufficient depth and scope for graduates to apply these principles to the management of patients at all stages of life.

6. [Graduates must demonstrate a basic knowledge of public health and how the analysis of population health and demographics affects and shapes the delivery of oral health ]*

7. Graduates must be competent in managing a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal and communications skills to function successfully in a multicultural work environment. (CODA 2-16)

Intent:  Students should learn about factors and practices associated with disparities in health status among subpopulations, including but not limited to, racial, ethnic, geographic, or socioeconomic groups. In this manner, students will be best prepared for dental practice in a diverse society when they learn in an environment characterized by, and supportive of, diversity and inclusion. Such an environment should facilitate dental education in:

  • basic principles of culturally competent health care;
  • recognition of health care disparities and the development of solutions;
  • the importance of meeting the health care needs of dentally underserved populations, and;
  • the development of core professional attributes, such as altruism, empathy, and social accountability, needed to provide effective care in a multi-dimensionally diverse society

8. Graduates must be competent in applying legal and regulatory concepts related to the provision and/or support of oral health care services. (CODA 2-17)

Intent: As models for the delivery of healthcare change and evolve, students should be able analyze and change their professional practices accordingly. As third party reimbursement models change students should be capable of understanding the regulatory environment in which they will practice.

9. Graduates must be competent in applying the basic principles and philosophies associated with patient-centered practice They must understand various models of oral health care delivery, and how to function successfully as the leader of the oral health care team. (CODA 2-18)

Intent:  Graduates should recognize the importance of leadership to the efficient delivery of comprehensive, patient-centered oral healthcare as delivery models evolve over time. Graduates should have knowledge and basic skills to evaluate and begin to manage or participate in business models that provide dental care. They should have sufficient knowledge to manipulate and communicate information using technologies available in contemporary dental practice.

10. Graduates must be competent in communicating and collaborating with other members of the health care team in the provision of health care. (CODA 2-19)

Intent:  Graduates should understand the roles of members of the health care team and have educational experiences, particularly clinical experiences that involve working with other professional students and practitioners. Graduates should have educational experiences in which they coordinate patient care within the health care system relevant to dentistry. Graduates should be aware of their professional obligations, to themselves, their profession, and their communities.  Students should be taught the elements of exemplary leadership and mentoring.  They should practice these behaviors during their pre-doctoral educational experience.

11. Graduates must be competent in the application of the principles of ethical decision making and understand their professional responsibilities in the provision of patient care. (CODA 2-20) 

Intent:  Graduates should know how to draw on a range of resources, among which are professional codes, regulatory law, and ethical theories. These resources should pertain to the academic environment, patient care, practice management and research. They should guide judgment and action with regard to issues that are complex, novel, ethically arguable, divisive, or of public concern.  The educational program should teach students the importance of   practicing in a culture of continuous improvement to prevent errors in treatment and the importance of disclosing errors to the appropriate parties when they occur.

12. Graduates must be competent to access, critically appraise, apply, and communicate scientific and lay literature as it relates to providing evidence-based patient care. (CODA 2-21)

Intent:  The education program should introduce students to the basic principles of clinical and translational research, including how such research is conducted, evaluated, applied, and explained to patients.

13. Graduates must be competent in providing oral health care within the scope of general dentistry to patients in all stages of life.  (CODA 2-22)

14. At a minimum, graduates must be competent in providing oral health care within the scope of general dentistry including: (CODA 2-23)

a. A comprehensive clinical oral and head and neck examination and the prescription and assessment of appropriate imaging studies which would allow the compilation of a list of current problems and Graduates should be able to formulate a comprehensive treatment plan and prognosis as well as obtain informed consent for the treatment prescribed. They should be able implement general dental treatment plans in a timely way. (CODA 2-23a)

b. The provision of risk assessment for caries, periodontal diseases, and head and neck  cancer. (CODA 2-23b)

c. The diagnosis and management of, in consultation with other dental and medical specialists when necessary, hard and soft tissue lesions and diseases of the oro-facial complex. (CODA 2-23k)

d. The management of dental emergencies. (CODA 2-23m)

e. Recognizing the complexity of needed treatment and identifying when referral is Graduates must know the limits of their professional expertise and when to seek consultation with other health care providers to facilitate patient care. (CODA 2-23c)

[f.   The management medical emergencies in dental practice, including the provision of basic life support.]*

g. The recognition of dental malocclusion and malformation and the need for space This will require an understanding the essential elements of facial growth and dental development.(CODA 2-23n)

h. The provision of patient education in the prevention of oral and selected systemic diseases to promote oral and general health. (CODA 2-23d)

[i.    Prescribing, administering and assessing the efficacy of pharmacological agents as part of the overall treatment plan.]*

[j.    The diagnosis and management of patients presenting with common problems associated with acute and chronic orofacial and dental pain]*

k. The administration of local anesthesia and the employment of other measures, pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic, to control pain and anxiety. (CODA 2-23e)

l. The management and delivery of periodontal therapy.  (CODA 2-23i)

[m. The management of dental caries and other diseases and malformations of the teeth.]*

n. The prevention and management of pulpal and periapical therapy. (CODA 2-23j)

o. The performance basic hard and soft tissue surgery in the mouth. (CODA 2-23 l)

p. The restoration of the form and function of teeth.  (CODA 2-23f)

q. The replacement of teeth including fixed, removable and implant supported prosthodontics. (CODA 2-23h)

r. The management of dental laboratory procedures in support of patient care. (CODA 2-23g)

s. The comprehensive evaluation the outcomes of The graduate must be able to formulate recall strategies and revise prognoses as appropriate in a program designed to continuously improve the oral health of the patient. (CODA 2-23o)

[t.   The treatment of medically complex and/or compromised patients.]*

[u.  The management of TMD as it presents in general dental practice.]*

Intent:  Graduates should be able to evaluate, assess, and apply current and emerging science and technology. Graduates should possess the basic knowledge, skills, and values to practice dentistry, independently, at the time of graduation. The school identifies the competencies that will be included in the curriculum based on the school’s goals, resources, accepted general practitioner responsibilities and other influencing factors. The comprehensive care experiences provided for patients by students should be adequate to ensure competency in all components of general dentistry practice. Programs should assess overall competency, not simply individual competencies in order to measure the graduate’s readiness to enter the practice of general dentistry.

15. Graduates must be competent in assessing the treatment needs of patients with special needs. (CODA 2-24)

Intent: An appropriate patient pool should be available to provide experiences that may include patients whose medical, physical, psychological, or social situations make it necessary to consider a wide range of assessment and care options. The assessment should emphasize the importance of non-dental considerations. These individuals include, but are not limited to, people with developmental disabilities, cognitive impairment, complex medical problems, significant physical limitations, and the vulnerable elderly. Clinical instruction and experience with the patients with special needs should include instruction in proper communication techniques and assessing the treatment needs compatible with the special need.

16. Dental education programs must make available opportunities and encourage students to engage in service learning experiences and/or community-­‐based learning experiences. (CODA 2-25)

Intent: Service learning experiences and/or community-based learning experiences are essential to the development of a culturally competent oral health care workforce. The interaction and treatment of diverse populations in a community-based clinical environment adds a special dimension to clinical learning experience and engenders a life-long appreciation for the value of community service.

*Planned, currently being developed as competency in the new curriculum.

Updated: 02/11/2014-Core Planning Group

Revised: 2/16/2014-Dean

Revised: Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 10/01/2015

Revised: Core Planning Group 10/30/2015