Last month we told you that dental schools were not required to teach students anything about TMJ until this year. But medical students are also limited in TMJ learning. Now we can report a project is underway to teach both dental and medical students about the jaw joint and Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs), so they become better informed practitioners. This is significant because it makes clear that TMDs are not strictly a dental problem, but complex and multi-faceted. The project will ensure that students get accurate information about all the ways TMDs can manifest and what can be done about them. As noted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine in their TMD report:
“The committee believes that efforts to increase professional education and awareness about TMDs across the dental and medical professions as well as actions to improve the education of patients, families, and the general public are part of the efforts needed to help reduce the stigma of TMDs and improve patient health and well-being.”
What We Did to Make this Happen
The TMJ Association reached out to the Medical College of Wisconsin to share the National Academies’ recommendations. The result was a collaboration between us and the Medical College and the development of a program offered to first-year medical students and second-year dental students from the Marquette University School of Dentistry. Included will be a TMJA patient video describing her experiences and advocating for interprofessional education.
And That’s Not All…
While we are excited to be launching a program to educate medical and dental students, we are also pleased to be working with government officials and TMJ stakeholders to develop the first patient-powered TMJ registry. The purpose of the registry is to learn about a patient’s journey from initial treatment to the present state of their health.
Working on registries, learning programs, communicating daily with patients, professionals, and government agencies all take time, resources, and funding …And that is why we come to you and ask to support of The TMJ Association with a tax-deductible gift.
Terrie Cowley, President & Co-founder