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      Impact of COVID-19 on dental education in the United States

      1 , 1 , 1

      Journal of Dental Education

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Dental institutions in the United States are reeling from the consequences of the novel SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, the causative agent of CODIV-19. As oral health care providers, we have been trained on prevention of aerosol transmissible diseases, but we are still grappling with many unknown factors regarding COVID-19. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Dental Association (ADA), and local state agencies are releasing updates on guidelines for dentists and patients, no official information exists for dental institutions on how to effectively follow the recommended guidelines including "shelter in place" with social distancing to protect students, faculty, staff, and patients, and still ensure continuity of dental education. This article discusses the challenges that we face currently and offers some simple strategies to bridge the gaps in dental education to overcome this emergency.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Psychological responses to the SARS outbreak in healthcare students in Hong Kong.

          This paper reports a cross-sectional questionnaire study that investigated perceived stress and psychological responses to the SARS outbreak in healthcare students at the height of the outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003. Non-healthcare university students served as controls. All the groups reported high levels of perceived stress. Despite being similarly confident in infection control procedures, nursing students were significantly more stressed than medical students, possibly reflecting a perceived higher risk of infection due to more prolonged contact with patients. Non-healthcare students also had high stress levels due to the perceived risks of dying from SARS, reflecting a fear of the unknown. Suitable psychological and occupational support services should be made available in case of future outbreaks.
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            Is Open Access

            Assessment of the awareness level of dental students toward Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus

            Background: Infection prevention and control measures are critical to prevent the possible spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in healthcare facilities. Therefore, healthcare workers should be aware of all procedures concerning prevention of and protection from MERS-CoV. Objective: The aim of this study is to improve the knowledge of the dental students and evaluate their awareness about MERS-CoV. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was made according to MOH information and 200 dental students (Al-Farabi Colleges, Jeddah) were interviewed to evaluate their knowledge about MERS-CoV. Results: More than half of the dental students (54%) interviewed had good knowledge about the etiology, symptoms, and treatment of MERS-CoV. Measurements for infection control and protection were also known (79%). The sources of information for the students were: college (27%), MOH (25%), media (24%), and social community (23%), while 17% of the students interviewed had no idea about it. Conclusion: Dental students had good knowledge about MERS-CoV. However, more information still must be provided by MOH and college for the medical staff.
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              Asynchronous vs didactic education: it’s too early to throw in the towel on tradition

              Background Asynchronous, computer based instruction is cost effective, allows self-directed pacing and review, and addresses preferences of millennial learners. Current research suggests there is no significant difference in learning compared to traditional classroom instruction. Data are limited for novice learners in emergency medicine. The objective of this study was to compare asynchronous, computer-based instruction with traditional didactics for senior medical students during a week-long intensive course in acute care. We hypothesized both modalities would be equivalent. Methods This was a prospective observational quasi-experimental study of 4th year medical students who were novice learners with minimal prior exposure to curricular elements. We assessed baseline knowledge with an objective pre-test. The curriculum was delivered in either traditional lecture format (shock, acute abdomen, dyspnea, field trauma) or via asynchronous, computer-based modules (chest pain, EKG interpretation, pain management, trauma). An interactive review covering all topics was followed by a post-test. Knowledge retention was measured after 10 weeks. Pre and post-test items were written by a panel of medical educators and validated with a reference group of learners. Mean scores were analyzed using dependent t-test and attitudes were assessed by a 5-point Likert scale. Results 44 of 48 students completed the protocol. Students initially acquired more knowledge from didactic education as demonstrated by mean gain scores (didactic: 28.39% ± 18.06; asynchronous 9.93% ± 23.22). Mean difference between didactic and asynchronous = 18.45% with 95% CI [10.40 to 26.50]; p = 0.0001. Retention testing demonstrated similar knowledge attrition: mean gain scores −14.94% (didactic); -17.61% (asynchronous), which was not significantly different: 2.68% ± 20.85, 95% CI [−3.66 to 9.02], p = 0.399. The attitudinal survey revealed that 60.4% of students believed the asynchronous modules were educational and 95.8% enjoyed the flexibility of the method. 39.6% of students preferred asynchronous education for required didactics; 37.5% were neutral; 23% preferred traditional lectures. Conclusions Asynchronous, computer-based instruction was not equivalent to traditional didactics for novice learners of acute care topics. Interactive, standard didactic education was valuable. Retention rates were similar between instructional methods. Students had mixed attitudes toward asynchronous learning but enjoyed the flexibility. We urge caution in trading in traditional didactic lectures in favor of asynchronous education for novice learners in acute care.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                JDD
                Journal of Dental Education
                J. Dent. Educ.
                Wiley
                00220337
                June 2020
                June 2020
                April 27 2020
                : 84
                : 6
                : 718-722
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry; University of the Pacific; San Francisco California USA
                Article
                10.1002/jdd.12163
                32342516
                © 2020

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