PENN PASS: a program for graduates of foreign dental schools.

P. Berthold, Naty Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

An increasing number of graduates of foreign dental schools who enroll in advanced standing programs to qualify for licensure calls for dental schools to be prepared to handle not only the curricular demands but also the growing cultural diversity among its student population. The "reeducation" of this student group not only meets the need of foreign dentists for an American degree but may also provide health professionals to service various ethnic populations whose language and culture they are able to understand and identify with. A survey of students and graduates of a two-year Program for Advanced Standing Students (PASS) for graduates of foreign dental schools representing 34 countries aimed to arrive at an understanding of this student group through characterization of the foreign dentists and identification of their attitudes and feelings toward various aspects of the program, the school and faculty and their experience of stress. This report includes description of the distinctive features of the program which cater to specific needs and concerns of this non-traditional group of dental students. PASS students are accepted on the basis of their grades in dental school in home country, scores in the National Dental Board Examination Part I, Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), and ratings in personal interviews. They complete an intensive summer program consisting of didactic and laboratory courses which prepares them for integration with four-year students for the last two years of didactic and clinical curriculum. Cultural diversity seminars, a special English class, PASS class meetings and seminars are unique additions to their program and aim to assist them adjust to the educational, social and cultural systems in an American school. Results of the survey show a majority of the PASS students feel that they are part of the school and that there is someone in the school whom they can approach for problems. An understanding of their ethnic and educational background is seen as a significant factor in their second basic dental education. Implications for education of foreign dental graduates amidst increasing diversification of the student body are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-854
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Volume58
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 1 1994

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