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UMSOD Will Lead Dentistry into the Future

Written by Adam Zewe

The University of Maryland School of Dentistry is poised to lead the way into the future of oral health care. Despite looming economic and public policy challenges, UMSOD will continue to thrive as a competitive educational institution, an essential dental care provider and an innovative research center, states Dean Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent. Dean Stohler discussed the future of the school and the dental profession during his annual State of the School Address on Nov. 19.

Dentistry in the United States is changing. Only 58 percent of dentists are solo practitioners, and that ratio will continue declining as new health care delivery models become popular, he says. Training future dentists requires team-based learning and interprofessional education. To that end, the School of Dentistry will promote campus-wide partnerships through the University of Maryland Strategic Plan. "Our facility is spectacular by allowing peer to peer learning and openness," says Dean Stohler.

As the birthplace of scientific dentistry, UMSOD continues to be a research pioneer. Despite federal funding cuts, scientists generated $16.7 million in research funding in the 2012 fiscal year, a 3 percent increase over last year. "This is clearly an indication of the exceptional research faculty that we have," Dean Stohler remarks.

The institution remains a vital dental treatment center in Maryland. UMSOD, which is the largest provider of oral health care in Baltimore, treated nearly 30,000 patients last year. Students provide $15.6 million in uncompensated and undercompensated care, emphasizing community service as an institutional priority, states Dean Stohler. "This community would not be the same without the efforts of our students," he says.

Though the past year was challenging, the School of Dentistry faces the future of health care with a sense of pride and optimism, says Dean Stohler. "The opportunities are huge. The talent that is here is spectacular. We can clearly assume a leadership position," he concludes.

Click here to watch a recording of the 2012 State of the School Address.

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