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JDE Study Highlights Initial Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on U.S. Dental School Clinics

November 11, 2021
by The American Dental Education Association

A majority of U.S. dental schools took a hit to their budgets during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and even more suspended community-based patient care experiences—two of several shocks to the system that are still playing out as academic institutions and health care delivery organizations continue to weather the crisis, according to a new study published in the Journal of Dental Education (JDE).

Forthcoming in the December 2021 issue of the American Dental Education Association’s (ADEA) journal and available online now, the study—“Operational and financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. dental school clinics”—is believed to be the first research exploring this topic nationally. The study, which involved a structured survey of 67 accredited U.S. dental schools, assessed how they, and especially their clinics, fared during the first eight months of the pandemic (from April to December 2020). Findings from that survey, which had a response rate of 67%, include:

  • A 50% reduction in patient visits at dental school clinics,
  • A 42% decline in revenue and
  • A 92% suspension rate of community-based patient care experiences outside the dental school clinic.

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