Dedicated to providing broad educational opportunities in the biomedical sciences, UConn Health offers degree programs in medicine (M.D.), dental medicine (D.M.D.), and biomedical sciences (Ph.D.); master's degree programs in public health and dental science (M.P.H, M.D.S.); postdoctoral fellowships; residency programs providing specialty training for newly graduated physicians and dentists; and continuing education programs for practicing health care professionals. Combined degree programs, such as the M.D./Ph.D., D.M.D./Ph.D., Dental Clinical Specialty/Ph.D., and M.D./M.P.H. are also offered.
Of note, Bioscience Connecticut calls for the recruitment of 100 new faculty to the combined schools as well as a 30 percent increase in the combined class sizes of the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine. To help meet the demand for primary care services in our state, Bioscience Connecticut also calls for the creation of a loan forgiveness program for graduates who pursue careers in primary care medicine or dentistry.
UConn Health is the only academic health center in the nation where a medical school was founded concurrently with a dental school. As the schools took shape during the 1960s, their planners took advantage of their simultaneous evolution to forge strong links between them. Most notably, medical and dental students share an essentially common curriculum during the first two years of their four-year degree programs. During this period they study the basic medical sciences together. This experience provides UConn's dental students with an especially strong foundation in the biomedical sciences that undergird the dental profession. Reflecting its close ties to medicine, the dental school awards its graduates the D.M.D. - doctor of medical dentistry.
Each year in Farmington, about 356 students work toward their M.D. degree and 180 toward their D.M.D. degree. Another 339 students pursue graduate degrees. Admission to each school is highly competitive, but both schools offer preferential consideration to qualified Connecticut residents in their admissions policies. In the years since the Health Center graduated its first students in 1972, 1,460 men and women have received their D.M.D. degree and 3,063 their M.D. degree. About 35 percent of School of Medicine graduates are currently practicing in Connecticut and close to 50 percent of School of Dental Medicine graduates are taking care of patients in our state.
Through a variety of residency programs, the School of Medicine provides postgraduate training for more than 600 newly graduated M.D.s each year. These physicians come from all over the country to acquire advanced skills in fields such as the surgical specialties, internal medicine, and more. Some of the residency training occurs on the UConn Health Center's main campus, but much of it takes place in community hospitals in Greater Hartford – thus extending UConn Health's influence far beyond Farmington.