Program’s Impact on School Finances
A critical question is how to assess the overall impact of community-based education programs on school finances. Some deans are concerned that they may lose income generated by senior students who rotate out of dental school operated clinics. How can schools make up for this potential loss of income? As noted in recent publications,1,2 there are several possibilities:
- Schools can negotiate with community clinics and practices to receive reimbursement for the loss of student income from dental school clinics.
- Schools can increase the number of students in the class without increasing the size of their clinical facilities, since a portion of the senior class will be in community sites. These additional students will increase monies obtained from tuition and will generate comparable clinical revenues.
- The space, equipment, staff, and faculty freed up by having students in the community can be used for other productive purposes such as research space or offering faculty more time in faculty practice.
- With fewer students in dental school operated clinics, the senior students who remain are more productive. This is because the student to preceptor ratio is reduced, providing students greater access to faculty preceptors.
- Several schools report that students are more productive and generate higher revenues after returning from their community rotations.