By Genni Burkhart
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shifted education towards online platforms, remote learning was experiencing massive global growth. Expected to reach a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% by 2026 (Syngene Research, 2019), adults are increasingly seeking flexible options to advance their careers and expand earning potential through higher education– including dentists. The dilemma they're often faced with is this: The desire to pursue higher education vs. the ability to do so.
Realizing this chasm, the University of Pennsylvania has adapted a hybrid method of learning targeted towards professionals already in the workforce seeking flexibility in obtaining an advanced dental degree.
What is Livestreaming?
Livestreaming isn't new, in fact, DOCS Education has been using it for quite some time in our sedation dentistry certification coursework. Dr. Michael Silverman, DMD and DOCS Education President recently wrote an op-ed for Dentistry Today on The Staying Power of Live, Interactive Streaming Education highlighting the value and importance of continuing education that can meet the needs of participants where they are.
Taking online learning one step further, livestreaming allows the learners to increase their knowledge through interactive, proactive courses designed to enable the learner to meet educational requirements through live interactions from the location of their choosing.
This flexibility allows students to remain in the workforce while advancing their skills and knowledge on a given subject. Livestreaming can accomplish this through interactive, 2-way video conferencing, innovative polling, immediate-response Q and A, and perhaps the most impactful, the ability to interact with fellow participants via customized live chat–all of which is performed outside the traditional classroom.
Thanks to livestreaming education, the gap between the desire and the ability to pursue continuing education or advanced degrees is narrowed.
Technology Equals Opportunity
Designed for oral health clinicians looking to enhance their knowledge and progress their careers, Penn Dental Medicine is launching a new master’s program titled the Master of Advanced Dental Studies (MADS). This hybrid program will allow students to take courses through both a six-week on-campus clinical rotation and an interactive online platform.
With the MADS program starting in July of 2022, students can choose from specialties including: endodontics, orthodontics, oral medicine, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, and oral & maxillofacial surgery.
"The University of Pennsylvania Dental School has always sought to deliver top educational opportunities to the profession. As an alumnus, I am proud to see them combine and embrace the technology of livestreaming and best practices for general dentistry when launching the Master of Advanced Dental Studies Program." – Dr. Michael Silverman, DMD and DOCS Education President
Support for a Diverse Workforce
Dr. Esra Sahingur, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies & Student Research, and the MADS Program Director stated this program is "unique among U.S. dental schools as it gives clinicians the opportunity to pursue professional enrichment to enhance their career while providing the flexibility to do so while continuing their dental practice or training.” Dr. Sahingur continues to describe excitement around this "global program bringing together a diverse group of clinicians.”
The curriculum for the MADS program offers a wide scope of highly relevant courses. This includes in-depth seminars, discussion-based lectures, and an on-campus clinical rotation. While in the clinical rotation, students will be tasked with reviewing cases, developing diagnosis and treatment planning, as well as observing various clinical procedures. Mentors will be assigned to each student within their chosen specialty to strengthen their professional development skills and resources.
This program at the University of Pennsylvania provides participants with the latest innovations in technology, allowing them to expand their skills and knowledge while simultaneously pursuing their professional careers. By meeting students where they are, livestreaming education strengthens the workforce and provides tremendous benefits for oral healthcare.
Author: With over 12 years as a published journalist, editor, and writer Genni Burkhart’s career has spanned politics, healthcare, law, business finance, technology, and news. She resides on the western shores of the idyllic Puget Sound where she works as the Editor in Chief for the Incisor at DOCS Education out of Seattle, WA.