New Mexico Higher Education Department and the Hunt School of Dental Medicine announce an agreement to assist New Mexico residents interested in earning a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree.
During the announcement, representatives from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, the NMHED and the New Mexico Dental Association will discuss how the new school will create opportunities for New Mexico residents who want to be part of the next generation of dentists in the Paso del Norte region. Representatives scheduled to attend include:
- TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A.
- Hunt School of Dental Medicine Dean Richard L. Black, D.D.S., M.S.
- NMHED Director of Institutional Finance and Financial Aid Harrison Rommel, Ph.D.
- President of the New Mexico Dental Association Kimberly Martin, D.M.D.
- Executive Director of the New Mexico Dental Association Tom Schripsema, D.D.S
The school’s inaugural class of 40 students began their first semester this summer. The college offers a unique education for students through culturally competent, hands-on training and an introduction to early clinical experiences among a diverse population.
As part of curriculum requirements, students learn medical Spanish, allowing them to bridge language and cultural barriers to deliver the highest quality of oral health care.
A first for any dental school in the nation, students begin clinical training and patient interaction during their first semester. It’s also the first and only dental school in the nation that requires Spanish-language courses. Sixty percent of the school’s students consider themselves bilingual or multilingual, helping to reduce language barriers during patient care.
The college is the first dental school on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the only one in El Paso and West Texas. It is one of few Hispanic-Serving dental schools in the nation, with 32.5% of its inaugural class identifying as Hispanic.
In the past 10 years, only 22 out of 2,390 Texas school graduates have chosen to practice in West Texas. Because most graduating dentists establish their practices in proximity to their schools, the school will help alleviate the severe shortage of dentists in the Paso del Norte region.