The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill approved the UNC-CH School of Dentistry’s proposal for an Advanced Standing Program for International Dentists (ASPID) in November 2018. This follows approvals from the UNC-CH Board of Trustees, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and the UNC-CH School of Dentistry’s faculty senate.
The program is expected to begin accepting applications in early 2019, with the first cohort of four students beginning classes in spring 2020.
“The implementation of this program is aligned with the School of Dentistry’s strategic plan and the strategic initiatives described in Carolina’s ‘Blueprint for Next’ – scaling up Carolina’s best ideas and initiatives to take on interrelated local and global issues, and leaving our impact both at home and in other countries where we can make a difference,” said Assistant Dean for Global Initiatives, Luiz Pimenta, DDS, MS, PhD.
“ASPID will allow health professionals to serve various ethnic populations whose language and culture they are able to understand and identify with. In addition, this program will give the opportunity for our pre-doctoral and dental hygiene students to interact and share their learning experiences with professionals trained abroad.”
Internationally trained dentists may face challenges when seeking employment in the United States. Even if they are U.S. residents, they may be unable to practice dentistry due to differences in education making their degrees inadequate or invalid for licensure.
“We seek to expand our reach and bolster our diverse learning experience as part of our vision to become the global model for oral health education, in care and discovery,” said Dean Scott De Rossi, DMD, MBA. “More than 40 dental schools in the country offer an advanced standing program for international dentists. North Carolina was one of the few states which did not offer such a program. The ASPID program not only provides a unique classroom experience for our students, but also increases the school’s visibility in the U.S. and abroad.”
The UNC-CH School of Dentistry’s 29-month program will include a six-month intensive track of didactic, pre-clinical and laboratory courses to review key topics related to the practice of oral health care. Following the six-month track, the internationally trained dentists integrate with the third-year pre-doctoral class of dental students, providing a more diverse learning experience for students.
At the completion of their program, ASPID graduates will have acquired the requisite knowledge, skills and values to engage in contemporary dental practice in the U.S. and will be eligible to take state and regional dental licensing examinations in the U.S. They may also pursue the many career opportunities open to U.S. or Canadian graduates through the DDS program including faculty member, researcher, specialty clinician, and more.