CDC Opens Application Period for 2021-2022 Dental Public Health Residency

Dentistry Today


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have opened the application period for their 2021-2022 Dental Public Health Residency. Applications must be submitted by September 28, 2020.

The program aims to produce skilled specialists in dental public health who can collaborate with their public health and dental colleagues in an array of health settings to improve oral health. Positions could be found in health agencies, voluntary organizations, research settings, health care delivery, or healthcare reimbursement systems.

The 2021-2022 Dental Public Health Residency provides opportunities to gain experience and skills across all 10 designated competency areas outlined by the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH), the CDC said, as a foundation for future examination and certification by the board, and for a career as a specialist in dental public health.

The program offers guided practice in collaborating with public health and dental stakeholders to achieve improved oral health for populations. Residents will develop skills in the methods of scientific inquiry and research, emphasizing oral health epidemiology and population-based efforts to prevent oral diseases and promote oral health, the CDC said.

Also, the program culminates in a certificate of completion that meets educational requirements established by the ABDPH for specialty certification, the CDC said.

Usually, the program is offered in person in Atlanta, Georgia. Each year, up to two qualified dentists are admitted. The program usually starts in July and extends over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time). The CDC is now evaluating whether the program can be offered online prior to its start in July 2021. Applicants must:

  • Hold a dental degree such as a DDS or DMD from a United States dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or a Canadian school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada
  • Hold an equivalent education from a school of dentistry outside of the United States or Canada
  • Hold a master of public health or comparable degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education with coursework including biostatistics, epidemiology, healthcare policy and management, environmental health, and behavioral sciences
  • Have completed two or more years (full-time equivalent) of advanced education in an area related to the practice of dental public health if their public health training was completed in an institution outside of the United States, including relevant coursework.

The program’s instruction follows an individualized training plan with either full-time or part-time schedule options focused on competency objectives developed by the ABDPH. Each resident will develop a training plan based on prior education and experience.

The plan will address competencies to be developed or refined during the program, activities designed to achieve these improved skills, and methods or criteria for evaluating progress. It must include a supervised field experience and an applied research project.

While the plan will accommodate individual differences and consider current issues, it must emphasize the application of fundamental public health principles to prevent oral disease and promote oral health, the CDC said.

No tuition or fees are required. Stipends for residents are provided through the CDC’s Regular Fellowship Program. This program is designed to encourage training for research and advancing science related to health, the CDC said. In 2019, stipends ranged from $45,000 to $65,000, depending on the resident’s prior professional experience.

Although residents are not federal employees, they can access a wide array of training resources and experiences, the CDC said. Interested employees of other federal agencies, including commissioned officers in the United States Public Health Service, can discuss their circumstances with the residency director.

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