Texas Tech, New Mexico unite on dental program: 3 things to know

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso and the New Mexico Higher Education Department are partnering on educational opportunities for New Mexico residents, KTSM, an NBC affiliate, reported Oct. 17.

The university's Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine opened in June. It is the first dental school on the U.S.-Mexico border and the only one in El Paso and West Texas.

Three things to know about the partnership:

  1. The partnership will focus on New Mexico residents interested in earning a doctor of dental medicine degree and work in the Paso del Norte region.
  2. Students will begin clinical training and patient interaction in their first semester and will be required to learn Spanish medical terms to remove cultural barriers.
  3. The school aims to alleviate workforce shortages in the region because dentists typically open practices near their dental schools. In the last decade, only 22 of 2,390 Texas dental school graduates have chosen to practice in West Texas, according to the dental school.

Texas Tech, the education department and the New Mexico Dental Association will announce more details about the program Oct. 19.

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