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Comparison of General Dentistry Curriculum in Iran with Eight of the World’s Top Dental Faculties
Background and objective: A curriculum is a general and immense outline of an educational activity. A curriculum defines teaching content, student and curriculum assessment methods, and ultimately defines the framework for each activity in the curriculum. Given the importance of training in medicine and dentistry, the purpose of this study was to compare Iran’s general dentistry curriculum with eight of the world’s top dental faculties.
Methods and materials: In descriptive-comparative research, the important components and parameters of the curriculum of the PhD in dentistry at several universities in the world were studied and compared with Iranian curriculum. The present study was conducted in two stages: The first phase included finding the best dental faculties in the world; the second phase was to identify and examine the various components of the curriculum of the PhD in Public Dentistry in Iran and the 8th highest dental faculties in the world and medicompare them according to Loudvigsson indicators. The results of the study were reported using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage).
Results: All of the evaluated indicators were in the Iranian curriculum. The study of the eight top universities in the world showed that the indicators worth paying attention to, including critical thinking and scientific approach in the program, student-centered curriculum, horizontal and vertical integration, systematic education, education based on community health care system, community-based education and ethical principles, existed in all curricula of the studied colleges. The presence of a selective framework in a curriculum and early clinical exposure was only available in the educational curriculum of four universities: Toronto, UNC, Minnesota and UCLA. The focus on small group work was defined as the prevailing educational method in three Herman Ostrow, Minnesota and UCSF universities. The problem-solving learning index was only presented at two universities in Osaka and NYU.
Conclusion: The highest rates of Loudvigsson indicators in general dentistry curriculums of eight universities in the world were 90% and at least 72.7%, while the above indicators were 100% in the dentistry curriculum of Iran. According to the indicators of Loudvigsson, Iran’s dental training program is ranked high in content.
Keywords: curriculum, dentistry, Loudvigsson indices, top universities in the world