MIND--a five-state regional approach to continuing dental education

J Dent Educ. 1975 Aug;39(8):522-9.


MIND has finished two years of operation as a regional center for continuing dental education. The responses from viewing cards, and the number of credit hours given, indicate that approximately 20% of the potential audience participated in the course offerings. Previous experience from a two-year study in South Dakota has shown that there are three major factors that are essential for effective use of television as a dissemination medium. These are as follows: 1) the program should establish effective use of the communication system to maintain an audience; 2) the quality of thr programming material that is televised must be high; 3) the program should be televised on a regular basis to develop viewer habits or expectations. With a potential audience of 11,000 persons, MIND has had to depend heavily on a bulk-rate mailing system to communicate with members of the dental profession. This has caused problems such as reminders not being received on time, or being lost in the mail, or not being read, so that the individual is unaware that the courses are being telecast. Another problem of mailing system is maintaining an up-to-date list of addresses. The names and addresses of the dental assistants are impossible to keep up to date. We use the lists of licensed dentists and dental hygienists issued each July and a list of the certified dental assistants, which, of course, does not include all the dental assistants in our five-state area. A system providing more direct contact with the individual needs to be developed. Quality of televised courses is determined by the clinician's style of presentation as well as by the content and organization of the course material. The selection of dental information aimed toward the dentist in general practice results in loss of some members of the viewing audience, particularly specialists and generalpractitioners who have confined their practice to a particular area of dentistry. Quality is also judged by the technical aspects such as camera coverage, color, types of audiovisual materials, and televison reception. There is a limited amount of videotaped material available, and the members of the Board of Directors are asked to preview the videotapes and select three courses that they judge to be of the best quality for the year's programs. One difficulty is to find courses that will be of value to all three groups--dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists. Despite the problems encountered, the use of educational television should focus on the positive characteristics of availability, relatively low cost of operation, and the opportunity to provide continuing dental education at a convenient time and place.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Dental, Continuing*
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Organization and Administration
  • South Dakota
  • Television*