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The Dental Practice Readiness Curriculum (DPRC), abbreviated as Practice Ready (PR) provides a turnkey platform for developing many of the expected attributes of new dentists. The program interacts with students, providing a self-directed learning journey to the appropriate level of competency, as well as useful conditioning to lifelong self-learning habits. Instructors may contribute additional information to the online curriculum or just monitor and guide students’ compliance with Practice Ready.
Practice Ready prepares students to achieve competency in the following CODA standards: 2-09, 2-10, 2-16, 2-17, 2-18, 2-20, and 4-6/g.
Critical thinking 2-09: Graduates must be competent in the use of critical thinking and problem-solving, including their use in the comprehensive care of patients, scientific inquiry and research methodology.
The Practice Ready curriculum develops critical thinking by using the conceptual framework of strategic planning and its applications. Students are evaluated on solving dental practice operation and management cases with fact-based strategies that optimize the quality and cost efficiency of clinical care. The educational experience is designed to apply to the careers of dental practice owners, associates and employees; public health professionals, military personnel, and academic appointees.
Assignments that comply with this standard include, but are not limited to, the following PR Levels and Sections: Level 1, personal strategic planning; Level 2, office design based on previously drafted mission, vison, and budget for a chosen dental practice facility; and Level 3, treatment planning and scheduling as well as staff selection.
Self-Assessment 2-10: Graduates must demonstrate the ability to self-assess, including the development of professional competencies and the demonstration of professional values and capacities associated with self-directed, lifelong learning.
Each competency is developed through a combination of information discovery and problem-solving exercises requiring self-learning choices and outcome assessment.
Examples of this approach are: at Level 1, at the end of each section of Personal Strategic Planning, students complete an exercise of evaluation and reflection that induces them to review their work to determine if it meets the curriculum standards of clarity and completeness.
Behavioral Sciences 2-16: Graduates must be competent in managing a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal and communications skills to function successfully in a multicultural work environment.
This competency is supported first by conceiving a practice mission and vision. Then, choosing an appropriate practice location, compatible dental teams, and patient information and management strategies fitting the community being served.
Assignments addressing these standards include, but are not limited to, the following PR Levels and Sections: Level 3, for the personnel policy section, students compile a practice policy manual that clarifies the rights and obligations of all members of the dental team. At level 3, students prepare multi-day schedules that meet the needs of a diverse patient population.
Practice Management 2-17: Graduates must be competent in applying legal & regulatory concepts related to the provision and/or support of oral health care services.
“Practice Ready” trains students to develop dental office personnel guidelines in compliance with the appropriate regulatory provisions and to address the legal aspects of dental associate agreements.
Assignments addressing this competency are found mostly but not exclusively at Level 3 when students are asked to develop a personnel manual that complies with the laws of the state chosen as the preferred one for their practice. In Level 4, the transition to practice section informs students about licensing and other legal issues that must addressed as they enter practice.
Practice Management 2-18: Graduates must be competent in applying the basic principles and philosophies of practice management, models of oral health care delivery, and how to function successfully as the leader of the oral health care team.
Students are instructed and guided throughout the curriculum in applying strategic planning to address issues and resolve cases of dental practice management and dental team leadership.
Assignments that build this competency are woven throughout the four levels of the program. The learning process for this competency empowers students to use strategic planning whether going into solo practice, working as an associate doctor, or practicing dentistry in the military and academia.
Ethics and Professionalism 2-20: Graduates must be competent in the application of principles of ethical decision making and professional responsibility.
References to dental ethics and professional responsibility are included in sections that prepare students to develop successful strategies for addressing career and dental practice challenges.
Assignments addressing this competency are found mostly at Level 3 when students are guided to draft a personnel manual that insures fairness and professional behavior. Also, Level 3 patient care and staff selection is casted in tones of professional and caring human interaction.
Personal Debt Management 4-6/g: Instruction on personal debt management and financial planning.
This standard for “Student Services” coincides with Practice Ready’s goal of preparing students to graduate with a personal financial profile that will not hinder their postgraduate professional opportunities.
This competency is addressed with assignments requiring understanding practical information on best use of student debt and drafting personal financial statements and strategies.