JOURNAL ARTICLE

Assessment of graduate orthodontic programs in North America

Thomas Burk, Maria Orellana
Journal of Dental Education 2013, 77 (4): 463-75
23576592
This study collected information on four main aspects of U.S. and Canadian orthodontic programs: demographic profiles of residents, requirements for graduation, graduate curriculum, and number of faculty and staff members. Program directors at seventy U.S. and Canadian orthodontic programs were invited to participate in a twenty-question survey and to distribute a ten-question survey to their residents. Twenty program directors and eighty-four residents completed the anonymous, online surveys on Qualtrics.com in July-August 2010. The average age of surveyed residents was 29.6 years of age; 73 percent were non-Hispanic white, with 14 percent Asian/Asian-American, 5 percent Hispanic, and 1 percent African American. A small percentage of residents (13 percent) were foreign-trained. The majority of residents (64 percent) were male. There was a wide variety of clinical and didactic requirements in the programs. Almost all programs emphasized treatment with functional appliances and clear aligners. An average of three full-time and ten part-time faculty members were dedicated to each residency program. This survey reveals a potential shortage of minority orthodontic residents currently being trained in orthodontic programs, in addition to several commonalities and differences among the programs' curricula, graduation requirements, and numbers of faculty and staff members. This preliminary survey will hopefully inspire measures to address the discrepancies revealed, particularly the lack of minority students and full-time faculty members.

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