Louisiana health organizations collab to launch dental residency program

Two health organizations have partnered to develop a one-year residency program for dentists to improve their skills and knowledge after graduating dental school, reports the Bossier Press-Tribune.

The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport General Practice Residency program will be based in the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport-Academic Medical Center, David Raines Community Health Center and other community clinics. Emily Neeley, DMD, assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at LSU Health Shreveport, is serving as the residency program director.

General dentists will be trained intensively to understand and competently manage complex dental patients of all ages. The program currently enrolls six residents per year and provides advanced training in all areas of dentistry.

"We are excited about this collaboration and to be chosen as the first community health center in Louisiana to host a general practice residency," Richard Chunn Vandiver, DDS, dental director of Shreveport-based David Raines Community Health Center. "The impact will increase timely access to much needed dental care for the patients we serve. It will also give these residents a broader dental skill base as they enter their dental careers, and we hope, encourage them to consider a public health oriented dental shortage area of practice such as a community health center."

"We are grateful to partner with two respected healthcare organizations, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and David Raines Community Health Center, to expand access to dental care while strengthening the training of the next generation of dentists," said David Lewis, MD, interim chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.

Currently, the majority (more than 87 percent) of Louisiana is considered a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area, reports the Press-Tribune.

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