Every seven years, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) performs site visits to organizations which host advanced dental education programs. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic’s last visit was in 2020, but due to COVID it was held virtually. Now that life has normalized a little, CODA has resumed in-person follow-up visits to validate their earlier results.
The visit looks at the facilities and equipment where residents are trained to ensure they are adequate for the training they need. The group spent about half a day visiting Childrens Village, Memorial Hospital and other locations dental residents rotate to.
The reason for these site visits is to ensure the academic needs of dental residents are being met. The Pediatric Dental Resident program has been a part of Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic since 2005. According to Dr. Wilson the program offers participants greater learning opportunities than similar programs elsewhere.
“We have six residents, and, at the time of our formal review, we had four faculty,” said Dr. Wilson, who emphasized the resident to faculty ratio offered plenty of opportunities for one-on-one instruction. He also pointed out that residents in our program also have more opportunity to engage in pediatric surgical care than they would in some other programs.
“Our residents graduate with anywhere between 80 and 120 surgical cases. Some programs have a hard time meeting the CODA standard of 20, so we go above and beyond when it comes to providing experience” said Dr. Wilson.
As a result of these and other factors, the residents enrolled in our residency program have a history of doing very well on their board exams. Dr. Wilson believes the reason many of our residents excel on their board exam is because of these additional exposures and other factors attributes.
“From this small program in Yakima, Washington, we’ve had residents in the past with the top five-precent score in the country and one of our residents got the highest score in the country,” said Dr. Wilson. “So, I think we do a pretty good job of educating residents.”
The CODA representative who conducted the visit was impressed with what he saw, and his assessment of the program, and the respective training locations.
“We did well,” said Dr. Wilson. “During those site visits you can either get one of two types of grades. You can get approval without reporting requirements, and approval with reporting requirements. We got approval without any reporting requirements, so we got the best that you could do.
Dr. Wilson is grateful to everyone who participate. believes recognition is due to everyone who participated.
“It takes a village,” said Dr. Wilson. “You can’t single out one person. You are only as good as your team.”