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Alec Simonson: The University of Florida College of Dentistry’s Strategic Plan

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Alec Simonson: The University of Florida College of Dentistry’s Strategic Plan

Alec Simonson: The University of Florida College of Dentistry’s Strategic Plan

Alec Simonson started his journey at the University of Florida College of Dentistry in August 2021 with the aim of mastering dental medicine. He actively participates in various college clubs, such as the University of Florida Chapter of the National Dental Student Research Group, where he also takes on leadership roles.

This piece will delve into the College of Dentistry’s Strategic Plan, designed to cultivate some of the finest predental students in the U.S. The plan equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge to become future dentists and dental specialists.

The University of Florida College of Dentistry’s Strategic Plan from 2019 to 2024, updated in 2022, outlines crucial actions and priorities to further its position as a top graduate and postgraduate dental school in America. Key elements of the Strategic Plan encompass:

  • Goal 1: Fostering learner-centered education based on solid scientific evidence, empowering students to evolve into proficient professionals and effective leaders.
  • Goal 2: Delivering exceptional oral healthcare supported by evidence, catering to the requirements of a highly diverse patient community.
  • Goal 3: Promoting preeminent research spanning basic, translational, clinical, and population-based domains that fuel intellectual curiosity and enhance clinical expertise through scholarly activities.
  • Goal 4: Enhancing research, teaching, clinical facilities, infrastructure, and resources to bolster existing and upcoming programs.
  • Goal 5: Sustaining and elevating a supportive and humane environment, offering an engaging work atmosphere for faculty, staff, students, and residents seeking care.

The University of Florida College of Dentistry’s Strategic Plan serves as a blueprint guiding the institution’s decisions between 2019 and 2024, steering the college towards achieving international eminence in oral health and dentistry. Moreover, the Strategic Plan acts as a framework for recognizing institutional needs, priorities, opportunities, as well as dental research, education trends, and patient care to inform future decisions regarding facilities, programs, services, outreach, and finances.

About the University of Florida College of Dentistry

As Florida’s sole publicly funded dental school, the University of Florida College of Dentistry stands out nationally for its dental education, patient care, research, and community service. Housed in the Dental Sciences Building on the University of Florida’s Academic Health Center campus, it fosters interdisciplinary learning and research benefiting both the college and its patients. The university’s distinctive approach culminates in a comprehensive curriculum producing proficient dentists skilled in both the art and science of dentistry.

Offering a variety of 16 degree and certificate programs, the college’s students’ performance in standardized tests serves as a testament to the excellence of its academic offerings. The 2022 DMD Class achieved an outstanding 96% first-time pass rate in the Integrated National Board Dental Exam, surpassing the national average of 89%.

The nationally acclaimed University of Florida College of Dentistry is renowned for its pioneering oral health research program, focusing on infectious diseases in dentistry, pain and neurosciences, and bone biology, translating research into transformative advancements in clinical care. Currently, the college’s research enterprise ranks fifth among all U.S. dental schools in National Institutes of Health funding, as per the Blue Ridge Institutes for Medical Research.

By recruiting mid-career basic scientists, the college aims to excel in key research areas within the institution while aligning with critical research in immunology, autoimmunity, genomics of infectious diseases, cancer epidemiology and prevention, biostatistics, pain and neurosciences, and cell biology and cell signaling. Emphasis is placed on recruiting talented clinical and translational researchers to complement the university’s strengths.

Designed with a multifaceted service mission that advocates patient care and community outreach and education, the college has improved dental care access for Florida residents through its Statewide Network for Community Oral Health. This network focuses on indigent, vulnerable populations, and patients with special needs, offering free dental treatment during service missions in the U.S. and abroad.

The University of Florida College of Dentistry was established to deliver innovative dental education while offering exemplary patient-centric service and care. It also aims to foster discovery and knowledge generation through research initiatives.

Through a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, the college strives to be a global leader in dental education, patient care, service, and research, delivering excellence through cutting-edge research, learner-centered education, and premium comprehensive care. The University of Florida College of Dentistry endorses a culture of respect, compassion, and support through a diverse and inclusive environment.

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