CDC Dental Public Health Residency Program

Dental Public Health Residency Program Logo

The application period for the academic year 2021-2022 Dental Public Health Residency is now open! Please follow the steps outlined below to ensure your complete application is emailed as one Zip File containing all required forms. Only complete application submissions will be reviewed. The application period closes on September 28, 2020. Please read the instructions carefully as the application process has changed.

For more information about our lecture series, please visit our Dental Public Health Residency Lecture Series page.

Program Goal

The aim of the CDC Dental Public Health Residency Program is to produce skilled specialists in dental public health who can work collaboratively with their public health and dental colleagues in an array of health settings to achieve improved oral health for populations. Such positions could be located within:

  • health agencies,
  • voluntary organizations,
  • research settings,
  • health care delivery,
  • or health care reimbursement systems.

The Residency Program provides opportunities to gain experience and skills across all ten designated competency areas outlined by the American Board of Dental Public Healthexternal icon (ABDPH), as a foundation for future examination and certification by the Board, and for a career as a specialist in dental public health. The program offers guided practice in collaborating with public health and dental stakeholders to achieve improved oral health for populations. The Resident will develop skills in the methods of scientific inquiry and research, emphasizing oral health epidemiology and population-based efforts to prevent oral diseases and promote oral health. The program culminates in a certificate of completion that meets educational requirements established by the ABDPH for specialty certification.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about the Residency Program and the application requirements.

Program Location and Duration

This formal training program for dentists is usually offered in person* in Atlanta, Georgia. Residents should be located in or consider relocation to Atlanta. Each year, up to two qualified dentists are admitted into CDC’s Residency Program. The program usually starts in July of each year and extends over 12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time).

*Due to COVID-19, we are in the process of evaluating whether the program can be offered online prior to the start in July 2021.

Admission Requirements

Prior to starting the residency program, residents must have the following:

    1. A dental degree (DDS or DMD) from a U.S. dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditationexternal icon or a Canadian school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canadaexternal icon.
      1. Applicants who are graduates of a school of dentistry outside the U.S. or Canada must be deemed to have equivalent education. For more details, please see the How to Apply page.
    2. A Master of Public Health (MPH) or comparable degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
      1. Courses for the MPH or comparable degree would include biostatistics, epidemiology, health care policy and management, environmental health, and behavioral sciences.
      2. If the applicant’s public health training was completed in an institution outside the U.S., satisfactory completion of two or more years (full-time equivalent) of advanced education in an area related to the practice of dental public health is required. The same content areas described in (2a) above for public health degrees in the U.S. apply to course work completed by public health graduates from outside the U.S.

The Residency Training Plan

Program instruction follows an individualized training plan with either full- or part-time schedule options, focused on competency objectivesexternal icon developed by the ABDPH.external icon

Each Resident develops a training plan based on prior education and experience. The plan addresses competencies to be developed or refined during the training program, activities designed to achieve these improved skills, and methods or criteria for evaluating progress. Both a supervised field experience and an applied research project must be included in the plan. While the plan accommodates individual differences and considers current issues, it emphasizes applying fundamental public health principles to prevent oral disease and promote oral health.

Financial Considerations

No tuition or fees are required. Stipends for Residents are provided through CDC’s Regular Fellowship Program. This program is designed to encourage training for research and advancing science related to health. In 2019, program stipends ranged from $45,000 to $65,000, depending on the Resident’s prior professional experience.

Although Residents in CDC’s Regular Fellowship Program are not federal employees, they can access a wide array of training resources and experiences. Interested employees of other federal agencies, including commissioned officers in the United States Public Health Serviceexternal icon, can discuss their circumstances with the Residency Director.

Residency Resources

CDC’s Dental Public Health Residency Program is sponsored by the Division of Oral Health, within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). NCCDPHP offers an abundance of learning opportunities and has programs addressing the prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and tobacco use, as well as programs focused on reproductive health, school health, aging, obesity prevention, nutrition and physical activity, and more. Residents have access to the larger CDC community of programs as well as other institutions and partner organizations to explore potential collaboration opportunities.

CDC employs professionals who can contribute their expertise during the residency (e.g., dentists, statisticians, economists, epidemiologists, social and behavioral scientists, physicians, and specialists in health policy, health communication, and evaluation). Residents also have access to CDC resources including excellent library facilities, computer services, training courses, and frequent seminars and guest lectures on public health topics.

Contact Information

Division of Oral Health, DPH Residency Director

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