Introduction: Despite the exponential growth of the elderly population worldwide, geriatric education has been a formal component of only a few dental schools' curricula.
Objective: To describe the geriatric community service learning (CSL) component of the professionalism and community service (PACS) module, and to explore a CSL project carried out by a group of first year dental students at a long-term care facility.
Methods: A literature review was performed to present and describe the CSL component of the PACS module. Students' personal reflections were used to illustrate some of the joys and challenges of experiencing a long-term care facility environment.
Results: The newly developed PACS module combines community service learning with the long-term care experience. Students develop, apply and evaluate an educational health promotion activity in a long-term care facility.
Conclusions: The PACS module has encouraged students to acquire comprehensive knowledge and awareness of the needs and dynamics of a long-term care as they collaboratively interacted with personnel from the facility to develop their projects. The authors would like to engage other schools in discussing the need to integrate community-based geriatric education into their dental curricula.
© 2011 The Gerodontology Society and John Wiley & Sons A/S.