Alumni perspectives on community-based and traditional curricula.

Jeanette E. DeCastro, Pamela B. Matheson, Fotinos S. Panagakos, Denice C. Stewart, Cecile A. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In 1994, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Dental School (UMDNJ-NJDS) launched the Community-Oriented Dental Education (CODE) program. The CODE program provides senior dental students the opportunity to spend four days per week providing dental care in a community-based clinic. A survey of graduates of CODE (n = 55) and randomly selected graduates of the traditional curriculum (n = 110) was conducted via mail to determine attitudes relating to community service (CS), community-based learning (CBL), reasons for participating in their clinical program, perceived levels of clinical preparedness at graduation, and practice choices. A total of 111 surveys (66.9 percent) were returned to NJDS, with 84.6 percent of CODE alumni responding and 59.0 percent of traditional alumni (TA) responding. Of the 111 surveys returned, sixty-five (58.6 percent) were completed by TA, and forty-six (41.4 percent) were completed by CODE alumni. There were no differences among CODE and TA regarding attitudes toward CS and tendency to practice in underserved areas or to accept Medicaid payments. There were, however, some differences in attitudes toward CBL, reasons for applying or not applying to the CODE program, perceived impact of clinical education on graduates' preparedness, views of the extent to which the programs encouraged students to choose public or private areas of practice, and perceptions of how the desire to help communities influenced career and practice decisions. Some of these findings may be useful to schools as they plan extramural education programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-426
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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