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Residency in Dental Public Health

About the Program

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) sponsors a 12-month full-time or 24-month part-time Residency Program in Dental Public Health.

Dental Public Health (DPH) is a specialty whose professionals focus on oral health issues in communities and populations. This level of emphasis is unlike other specialties in dentistry where the focus is primarily on individual patients. Important areas of DPH include oral health surveillance, community-based disease prevention and health promotion, and population-based dental research. Dental public health has been an American Dental Association (ADA) recognized dental specialty since 1950. While emphasizing research training and oral disease prevention and health promotion, the NIDCR Residency in DPH provides experience in other areas of dental public health, i.e., public health administration and management, the organization and financing of dental care programs, and the development of resources. With the guidance of residency mentors and faculty, residents develop an individualized initial training plan, which describes activities to be undertaken during the residency and conduct at least one research project under the guidance of NIDCR staff and other qualified mentors. The training program in research will be tailored to meet the particular interests and previous experience of each individual selected. However, a typical resident's effort will require that time be spent in each of the following areas: Research Methods in Dental Public Health; Health Policy, Program Management, and Administration; Oral Disease Prevention and Oral Health Promotion; and Oral Health Services and Delivery Systems.

The content of the curriculum and the resident’s training plan are designed to ensure that each resident achieves a good foundational level of competency in dental public health. The educational structure of the residency program is based on a number of learning experiences: (1) site visits to public health organizations at the state, federal, and international levels; (2) field experience for applied public health experience; (3) seminars and lectures providing instruction in the core disciplines of public health (epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, behavioral health science, and health management and policy) with an oral health focus; (4) critical thinking and scholarship. The program provides expert guidance in the origination and conduct of a major research project, which all DPH residents must complete. The NIDCR has offered a training program in DPH since 1980.

Program graduates receive a certificate of completion and are qualified educationally to apply for examination by the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH) for specialty certification. The ABDPH has been designated as the national examining and certifying agency for the ADA recognized specialty of DPH since 1951.

Faculty and Resources

The Director of the Residency Program is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. Training faculty are from the staff of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and elsewhere, and include epidemiologists, clinical investigators, public health analysts, and statisticians. In addition, qualified scientists in practically every area of biomedical, behavioral, and health services research are available for consultation. The entire resources of the NIDCR are available to residents, as are other supporting facilities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These include a large scientific computer network, excellent medical libraries, and other research and educational services. Residents are eligible to attend seminars, guest lectures, and short courses offered at the NIH. 

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must be graduates of a school of dentistry accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada.  Applicants who are graduates of a school of dentistry outside the U.S. must be deemed to have equivalent education as determined by the residency director.   In addition, the applicant must have completed at least one academic year of advanced training and obtained a graduate degree in public health (MPH or equivalent) in an area related to the practice of public health.  Examples of an equivalent public health degree could be a MHS, DrPH, or PhD in Epidemiology. The advanced graduate public health program must include biostatistics, epidemiology, health care policy and management, environmental health and behavioral sciences from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  If the applicant’s public health training was completed in an institution outside of the U.S. or Canada that is deemed equivalent by the residency director, two or more years (full-time equivalent) of advanced education in public health leading to a graduate degree are required.  The same content areas described above apply to public health graduates from outside the U.S. 

Financial Considerations

A limited number of stipends are available to support trainees who meet eligibility criteria who are selected as full-time (12-month) DPH residents. Stipends are NOT available for residents selected as part-time (24-month) DPH residents. Applicants for either the full-time or part-time DPH residency will not be charged an application fee. There are no registration fees or tuition for individuals selected into either the full-time or part-time DPH residency. Equal consideration is given to all applicants without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or age. 

Application Form and Deadline

Application cycle for either the full-time DPH residency or the part-time DPH residency is between July 15 and October 31. The tentative start date for both full-time and part-time DPH residents is the first Monday in July. Applicants will be notified within 4 weeks after the submission deadline if they are selected for an interview.

DPH Residency Application Form_17-18.docDPH Residency Application Form_17-18.doc

All applicants are REQUIRED to state in the application form if they are applying for a full-time or part-time residency position. 

The residency application must include:

  • The completed application form 
  • The applicant’s current CV
  • Official transcripts from both dental school and graduate education in public health. The transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar’s office of the issuing institutions. Transcripts from institutions where English is not the official language of instruction must be accompanied by certified translations. 
  • A course-by-course evaluation report by a credentialing organization for transcripts issued by educational institutions outside the U.S. or Canada. These reports should be sent directly from credentialing agencies (please refer to question 32 in the FAQ for more information).
  • Three letters of recommendation (letters of recommendation must be sent directly from persons who have agreed to serve as references).

    Please send the above mentioned materials to Ms. Huang by
    Oct. 31, 2016.

Yu-Ling Huang
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
31 Center Drive, MSC 2190
Building 31, Room 5B55
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190
Tel:  301.451.3392
Fax:  301.496.9988

Additional Information

NIDCR Dental Public Health Residency Program

Bruce Dye, DDS, MPH
Director, NIDCR Dental Public Health Residency Program
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Building 31, Room 5B55
31 Center Drive, MSC 2190
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190
Telephone: 301.496.7765

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This page last updated: July 15, 2016