The University of Washington (UW) spring elective course Global Oral Health (DENTEL 520A) has featured interactive lectures, guest speakers, and immersive team-based projects to teach students about global health inequities and the burden of oral disease worldwide. The Spring 2019 iteration of the course incorporated a new component: a partnership with Harvard School for didactics on global health for oral health researchers and practitioners. Enrollment was open to students from both the UW School of Dentistry and the School of Public Health.
Dr. Brittany Seymour, Assistant Professor of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario, Director of the Timothy A. DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health, integrated their existing curricula to design the course. Students learned about a wide range of public health topics that impact global oral health, and although Dr. Seymour is based in Boston she was able to give a lecture and meet the students through video conference.
A combination of student feedback and test scores will be used to evaluate the integration of the two curricula, and those findings will inform the structure of the course next year. Additionally, the results of the collaboration between the UW DeRouen Center and Harvard will be presented at the 2020 International Association for Dental Research Session and the 2020 Consortium of Universities of Global Health Conference. Dr. Seymour, Dr. Seminario, and teaching assistant Belle Chen hope that their findings will encourage further collaboration between universities at the classroom level and promote innovation and collaboration in global oral health.