Professors Bob Averbach and Don Kleier
School of Dentistry
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Mentoring Program in Endodontics
Drs. Bob Averbach and Don Kleier have been involved in mentoring aspiring candidates for postdoctoral training in endodontics for the past ten years. This program evolved when recent dental graduates sought part-time teaching positions to gain experience that would help them with their clinical skills, as well as facilitate entrance to postdoctoral programs in endodontics. With the first dentists the program was informal but still effective. Over the years the program has become more formalized with a defined curriculum.
The main goals of the program are twofold.
1. The dentists gain valuable experience and knowledge in adult education and the clinical specialty of endodontics. This knowledge and experience makes them superior candidates for acceptance into a postdoctoral program in endodontics.
2. The dentists are a valuable resource to the Department and the School of Dentistry while they are in the mentoring program, and after they return from their postdoctoral programs.
HOW THE PROGRAM IS STRUCTURED
Individuals who seek information on entrance into specialty programs come to us for experiences not available in the general practice of dentistry. This is one-on-one mentoring. The program is customized to address the strengths and weaknesses of the dentists involved but can involve any combination of the following:
• Setting of goals and desired outcomes for their mentoring program
• Experiences in advanced endodontic patient care under direct faculty supervision
• Didactic instruction
• Independent lecture preparation and delivery
• Clinical research, abstract and manuscript preparation
• Mentoring of pre-doctoral students in competency progression
• Team teaching with faculty in small group educational settings
• New techniques and technology
• Insights into administrative responsibilities in an academic institution
• Application process and interview strategies
This has proven to be a highly successful program. Since its inception many of our participants have gained entrance to postdoctoral programs, completed them, and returned to help support our teaching program. This has become increasingly important as a potential lack of dental educators looms on the horizon. This program, as many mentoring activities prove to be, has been a win-win endeavor.