A socially responsible dentist: an evidence-based curriculum to address stigma and discrimination


  • Mario Brodani
    University of British Columbia 
  • Kinnon Ross
    Providence Health Care


  • Dr. Abiola Adeniyi
  • Michael Siarkowski
  • Maxine Harjani

Canadians suffering from drug addiction and mental illness experience higher rates of poor oral health than their counterparts. They may also experience stigma and discrimination by dental and dental hygiene providers while accessing much needed dental care services. There has been a call 'to teach cultural diversity' broadly within dental and dental hygiene education to foster practice that is inclusive, sensitive to diversity, socially responsible, and without prejudice.

The project team will:

  1. Include those in the community affected by drug addiction and mental illness to co-develop an evidence-based undergraduate dental curriculum that will inform dental and dental hygiene practices within the University of British Columbia, and
  2. Pilot this curriculum with the incoming class of 2020/21 undergraduate students to aid in skill-set development.

The team will co-develop an interactive curriculum based on a flipped classroom concept in a safe environment focused on educating oral heath care providers who are compassionate, fair, and socially responsible. The central research question is:  'How can we foster an interactive and open dialogue about social responsibility, in a transformative learning environment, when caring for those suffering from mental illness and/or addiction?'  

The above question is broad enough to be transferable to other health care disciplines and this new curriculum will be made available to them.