CIHR holds workshops on Evidence-Based Dentistry in three Canadian dental schools
By Dr. Carlos Flores Mir, Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, Division Head of the Orthodontics Department and Director of the Orthodontics Graduate Program
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) sponsored three workshops for faculty members in three Canadian dental schools, at the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, and at McGill University. The workshops were intended to train faculty members in key concepts of evidence-based dentistry (EBD), such as how to critique published systematic reviews. Evidence-based dentistry (EBD) encompasses the judicious integration of the current best available scientific evidence, the clinician’s skill and judgment, and the patient’s expectations and values.
More than 30 dental faculty members participated with the expectation that the knowledge they acquired will be directly transmitted to students and future colleagues while they undergo their dental professional training. Ultimately, the hope is that the practitioner becomes proficient in translating the scientific facts into their clinical treatment and in explaining facts to the patients in an easy to understand manner.
There are currently two barriers, among others, to the implementation of EBD in Canada:
- The teaching of EBD is limited in Canadian dental schools. Although there is a specific competency related to EBD; it is not consistently implemented in the Canadian dental curriculum.
- The scarcity of EBD courses in programs of dental faculty professional development within Canada. Dentists trained prior to 2000, which encompasses the majority of Canadian dental educators; prefer getting their clinical information from continuing education courses rather than reading it in scholarly journals. Currently, Canadian dental faculty members have limited formal training in EBD, including critical appraisal and clinical application. While there are courses available in the United States, such as those offered during the EBD Champion Conference (an introductory 2-day meeting) and the ADA/Forsyth EBD Course (a 1-week course on critical appraisal and advanced literature searching), there are no courses specifically targeted to Canadian dental educators.
The training provided involved the completion of critical summaries of systematic reviews published on the Evidence-Based Dentistry website of the American Dental Association (ADA): http://ebd.ada.org/SystematicReviews.aspx.
The purpose of the workshop was to facilitate the incorporation of current best evidence into daily clinical practice. The workshop was developed on the premise that by ‘training the trainers’ (i.e., educators responsible for teaching the Canadian dental curriculum), a multiplier effect will occur in how Canadian dental faculties teach their students how to incorporate EBD into clinical decision-making. Consequently, future practitioners will improve their ways of seeking and finding the best available evidence, and how they should incorporate it into daily practice.
We would like to sincerely thank CIHR for their invaluable support.
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