Tufts Advances Public Health Education with New Joint Doctor of Dental Medicine/Master of Public Health Degree

November 19, 2012

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Jennifer Kritz

Siobhan Gallagher

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BOSTON — Tufts University has added to its depth of public health degrees with a new combined Doctor of Dental Medicine/Master of Public Health degree (DMD/MPH), now offered through Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine. The Association of Schools of Public Health reports that the United States will face a shortfall of more than 250,000 public health workers by 2020. Accredited by the Council on Dental Accreditation and the Council on Education in Public Health, the new Tufts program leverages the University’s strengths and resources to provide students with an opportunity to advance their knowledge of and skills in both dental medicine and public health.

A 2000 report from the U.S. Surgeon General reported on the silent epidemic of oral diseases affecting the most vulnerable segments of the population. The report highlighted the importance of oral health as part of overall health and urged public health professionals to increase the affordability and accessibility of oral health care.

“As public health dentists, our graduates will be trained to assess the oral health needs of communities, develop and implement oral health policy, and provide programs and services that address oral health issues across populations,” said Mark Nehring, M.Ed., D.M.D., M.P.H., chair of the Department of Public Health and Community Service at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. “The DMD/MPH program will allow graduates to apply for dental residency and board certification by the American Board of Dental Public Health. Dental leaders trained in public health are needed to help create effective interdisciplinary strategies to improve access to oral health care.”

“This new joint degree program at Tufts will prepare students to advance oral health within a broader public health context and provide them with the skills they need to occupy leadership positions within a range of public health and health care settings,” said Aviva Must, Ph.D., dean of public health and professional degree programs and professor and chair of the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. “Effective public health leadership can drive policy, influence access to quality health care, and improve population health.”   

Students are eligible to enter the DMD/MPH program after the second year of pre-doctoral studies in dentistry. The combined program will allow students who have demonstrated academic excellence to earn two advanced degrees in less time than would be required to complete both programs consecutively.  

The new DMD/MPH program brings together Tufts University School of Dental Medicine’s expertise in providing community-based dental education and Tufts University School of Medicine’s extensive history of combined degree programs in public health. Tufts University has shown leadership in the development of joint degree programs on its Health Sciences campus in Boston and now offers 14 joint degree programs. In 1986, Tufts University School of Medicine was the first university in the United States to establish a four-year MD/MPH program. 

For more information about Tufts University and its academic programs, please visit: www.tufts.edu.

About Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Founded in 1868, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) is committed to leadership in education, patient care, research, and community service. Students obtain an interdisciplinary education, integrated with medicine, with access to training in dental specialties. Clinics managed at TUSDM provide quality comprehensive care to more than 18,000 diverse individuals annually, including those requiring special needs. Nationally and internationally, the School promotes health and educational programs and researches new procedures, materials and technologies to improve oral health. 

About Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences

Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University are international leaders in innovative medical education and advanced research. The School of Medicine and the Sackler School are renowned for excellence in education in general medicine, biomedical sciences, public health, health communication, special combined degree programs in business, health management, public health, bioengineering and international relations, as well as basic and clinical research at the cellular and molecular level. Ranked among the top in the nation, the School of Medicine is affiliated with six major teaching hospitals and more than 30 health care facilities. Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School undertake research that is consistently rated among the highest in the nation for its effect on the advancement of medical science. 

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