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 Alfred Griffin III
DMD/PhD Candidate

The Dental Medicine Scientist Training Program Prepares Students for Careers in Dental Research

The Dental Medicine Scientist Training Program is a seven year program funded by the NIH and designed to help prepare superior students for careers in dental research. Students earn both the D.M.D. and Ph.D. degrees simultaneously by integrating dental and graduate programs into a comprehensive academic sequence of training in clinical and research areas.

The program begins with a year of dental school education focused on the scientific foundations of dentistry.   The second year combines elements of both dental education necessary and the graduate education component. Years 3 and 4 are focused solely on graduate education and research.  During the final three years students also receive dental clinical education and experience. This timeline helps students concentrate their research and clinical work for better retention and a more satisfying blend of academic and patient experiences.

In addition, the DMST program has partnered with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Division of Intramural Research to provide additional training opportunities for program participants. This "Partnership in Dental Education Program" with the NIDCR allows Dental Medicine Scientist Training Program students to obtain research experience at the NIDCR intramural laboratories at the NIH campus. In addition, the Partnership Program provides Dental Medicine Scientist Training Program students the opportunity to perform their thesis research in collaboration with NIDCR scientists. This may be either via collaboration with the NIDCR researcher(s) while the student remains on the MUSC campus, or directly at an intramural NIDCR research laboratory on NIH campus. This partnership program provides Dental Medicine Scientist Training Program students with a unique perspective on oral health research both from an academic, as well as national perspective.

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