Minimal pain content has been documented in pre-licensure curricula and students lack important pain knowledge at graduation. To address this problem, we have implemented and evaluated a mandatory Interfaculty Pain Curriculum (IPC) yearly since 2002 for students (N=817 in 2007) from six Health Science Faculties/Departments. The 20-h pain curriculum continues to involve students from Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy as part of their 2nd or 3rd year program. Evaluation methods based on Kirkpatrick's model now include evaluation of a Comprehensive Pain Management Plan along with the previously used Pain Knowledge and Beliefs Questionnaire (PKPQ) and Daily Content and Process Questionnaires (DCPQ). Important lessons have been learned and subsequent changes made in this iterative curriculum design based on extensive evaluation over the 6-year period. Modifications have included case development more relevant to the diverse student groups, learning contexts that are uni-, inter-, and multi-professional, and facilitator development in working with interprofessional student groups. PKBQ scores have improved in all years with a statistically significant average change on correct responses from 14% to 17%. The DCPQ responses have also indicated consistently that most students (85-95%) rated highly the patient panel, expert-lead clinically focused sessions, and small interprofessional groups. Relevancy and organization of the information presented have been generally rated highly from 80.3% to 91.2%. This curriculum continues to be a unique and valuable learning opportunity as we utilize lessons learned from extensive evaluation to move the pain agenda forward with pre-licensure health science students.
Dental practice and education are becoming more globalized. Greater practitioner and patient mobility, the free flow of information, increasingly global standards of care and new legal and economic frameworks (such as European Union [EU] legislation) are forcing a review of dental licensure, specialization and continuing education systems. The objective of this study was to compare these systems in Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US. Representatives from the five countries completed a 29-item questionnaire, and the information was collated and summarized qualitatively. Statutory bodies are responsible for licensing and re-licensing in all countries. In the two North American countries, this responsibility rests with individual states, and in Europe, with the countries themselves, mainly governed by the legal framework of the EU. In some countries, re-licensure requires completion of continuing education credits. Approaches to dental specialization tend to differ widely with regard to definition of specialities, course and duration of training, training facilities, and accreditation of training programmes. In most countries, continuing education is provided by a number of different entities, such as universities, dental associations, companies, institutes and private individuals. Accreditation and recognition of continuing education is primarily process-driven, not outcome-orientated. Working towards a global infrastructure for dental licensing, specialization and continuing education depends on a thorough understanding of the international commonalities and differences identified in this article.