Dr. James Martin, third-year resident in the advanced education program in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, received one of the UNC Graduate School’s 2014 Impact Awards. These awards annually recognize graduate students whose research contributes to the educational, economic, physical or social well-being of the citizens of North Carolina.
“I’m honored to be a recipient of one of this year’s Impact Awards,” said Martin. “It’s humbling to be recognized for my research in something that I feel is so important to the future of North Carolina’s dental workforce.”
Martin’s work in mapping distribution of oral health care practitioners for children earned him this latest recognition. His work showed, among other things, that gender and racial/ethnic diversity among dental professionals has increased while dental workforce disparity between rural and urban areas has increased. To determine these shifts, he examined demographic and geographic distribution of currently practicing general dentists, pediatric dentists and orthodontists in the state over the last 30 years. He then compared it to population trends over time.
“The findings from Dr. Martin’s project will provide data necessary to inform state government on this critical health care issue with respect to public health policy and allocation of public health funds,” said Dr. Ceib Phillips, advisor for Martin and assistant dean of advanced education programs at the school.
“It’s critical that our state’s children receive proper dental care so they can maintain optimal health. Poor oral health in children can lead to pain, expensive emergency room dental care, and other oral and systemic health complications. It’s my hope that this research will help us identify barriers to provide care in underserved communities within North Carolina,” said Martin.