Karen Gregson and Steven Blanchard, IU School of Dentistry

Principal Investigator: Karen Gregson, assistant professor, Department of Oral Biology, IU School of Dentistry

Co-principal Investigator: Steven Blanchard, IU School of Dentistry

Project Title: Development, Implementation and Evaluation of Pharmacology Learning Activities at the Indiana University School of Dentistry

Funding Level: $9,200

Abstract: Pharmacology is an important part of dental education. Dentists need to understand not only the drugs they prescribe, but also the drugs their patients are taking for other health conditions. The drugs that patients take can influence the practice of dentistry and can potentially interact with the drugs that dentists prescribe. The pre-doctoral dental students at the Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) are introduced to pharmacology in their first year and as part of their PBL curriculum. The dental students are assigned patients to treat in the summer between the 2nd and 3rd years of dental school. Their major pharmacology class begins in the following spring semester, 8 months after the students begin in clinics. Ideally, dental students would learn pharmacology before entering clinics to treat patients, however, due to a heavy course load in the 1st and 2nd year and due to the fact that the majority of the students take Part 2 of the National Dental Board Examination (pharmacology is a subject on this exam) approximately 6-8 months after the pharmacology class concludes in April, the students enter clinics with limited knowledge of pharmacology. The students have expressed that they are uncomfortable with this situation. With this proposal this problem will be solved by adding online learning activities to a 2nd year class. The residents at IUSD take a summer pharmacology review class. Ideally, the residents would be able to take this class, but often due to their clinic schedule, many are unable to attend. This class will be offered online and will consist of the pharmacology online learning activities. The online learning activities will provide access for residents to review and strengthen their knowledge of pharmacology. This one proposal will be used to solve two learning/scheduling issues.