Assessing oral health curriculum in US family medicine residency programs: a CERA study

Fam Med. 2012 Nov-Dec;44(10):719-22.


Background and objectives: During the past decade, national initiatives have called for improved oral health training for physicians. We do not know, however, how family medicine residency programs have answered this call.

Methods: Family medicine residency directors completed a survey that asked how many hours of oral health teaching are included in their programs in addition to what topics are covered and the perceived barriers to this education. The response rate was 35%.

Results: A total of 72% of respondents agreed that oral health is an important topic, but only 32% are satisfied with their residents' competency in oral health. Barriers to this education included competing priorities (85%), inadequate time (69%), and lack of faculty expertise (52%).

Conclusions: The findings suggest that programs are including more hours than in previous years, yet continued efforts are needed to cover core oral health topics and increase the competency of family medicine residents. Awareness of STFM's Smiles for Life and use of its modules were associated with increased hours of training.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum / statistics & numerical data*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Oral Health / education*