The LSU Health Shreveport General Practice Residency (GPR) program is a one-year residency program for dentists to increase their knowledge and skills after completing dental school. The residency program will be based in the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – Academic Medical Center and David Raines Community Health Center and other community clinics. Emily Neely DDS, Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, at LSU Health Shreveport is serving as the residency program director.
“We are excited about this collaboration, and to be chosen as the first Community Health Center in Louisiana to host a General Practice Residency. The impact will increase timely access to much needed dental care for the patients we serve. It will also give these residents a broader dental skill base as they enter their dental careers, and we hope, encourage them to consider a public health oriented dental shortage area of practice such as a Community Health Center” shared Richard Chunn Vandiver DDS, Dental Director of David Raines Community Health Center.
The program intensively trains general dentists to understand and competently manage complex dental patients of all ages – pediatric to geriatric. LSU Health Shreveport currently enrolls six residents per year and provides advanced training in all areas of dentistry. The residents will experience general adult and pediatric dentistry based in the clinics of Dentistry, a division of LSU Health Shreveport Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Residents will also gain general dentistry experience in community and private practice clinics.
“Expanding medical education is one of the pillars that Ochsner LSU Health is committed to to improve wellness and access to healthcare in the communities we serve. Because of the vital role that dental care plays in overall health, we are pleased to provide clinical staffing and funding for this new general dentistry residency and increase dental care options in Northwest Louisiana,” said Chuck Daigle, Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner LSU Health.
There are an average of 3,397 citizens per general dental practice in Louisiana, which is higher than the current US average of 3,018. There is an average of 6936 citizens per specialty practice in Louisiana, which is higher than the current US average of 5,783.
More than 87% of Louisiana is designated as Dental Health Professional Shortage Area (DHPSA). The state suffers from the uneven distribution of oral healthcare workers with the greatest concentrations in larger metropolitan areas. Of the 64 Louisiana parishes, three have no dentist and 23 have one to five dentists with the highest concentrations in parishes of the northern and central portions of the state.
“We are grateful to partner with two respected healthcare organizations, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and David Raines Community Health Center, to expand access to dental care while strengthening the training of the next generation of dentists, stated David Lewis, MD, MBA, Interim Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.