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Dental Education’s #MeToo Issue: Patient Harassment of Students


The #MeToo movement exposes sexual abuse and harassment issues across populations and industries. Within dental education, student clinicians may be subjected to unwanted sexual advances, violence and/or discriminatory behavior from patients based on sex, gender, race, religion or ethnicity. While the extent of the issue in dental education requires further investigation, a recent survey to dental hygiene and dental students across the United States and Canada does provide some valuable insights.

Join us for this free webinar as the presenters discuss the results of the survey and ways that individuals can identify inappropriate situations and provide effective intervention for students.

Note: This presentation was originally featured at the 2019 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify inappropriate patient-student situations.
  • Discuss the potential impact of inappropriate behavior on the student.
  • Describe strategies for effective intervention and support.

CE Information

The American Dental Education Association is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

An evaluation form is available to participants after the conclusion of the live webinar. To earn continuing education (CE) credit for participation in the webinar, the online evaluation must be completed in full by May 21, 2022. After completing the evaluation, webinar participants can print and save the CE Verification Form.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

All speakers agree that neither they nor members of their immediate family have any financial relationships with commercial entities that may be relevant to their presentation.

The American Dental Education Association designates this activity for 1.00 continuing education credit.


  • Sara C. Gordon, D.D.S., M.S., FRCD(C), FDS-RCSEd

    Dr. Sara C. Gordon is Professor of Oral Medicine and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Dr. Gordon has a special interest in the role of sex and gender in health and health care, a prominent topic across her 120 oral presentations and 100 scientific publications. She practiced general dentistry for eight years before completing a four-year residency in oral pathology. Since 1997, she has taught oral medicine and general, systemic and oral pathology. In 2018 she completed a Fellowship in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology; Fellow in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scotland; and a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada in both Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine.

  • Jean O’Donnell, D.M.D., M.Ed.

    Dr. Jean O’Donnell serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine (Pitt SDM) and is the academic integrity officer for the school. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1976 with a B.S. in nursing and completed a master’s degree in pediatric nursing in 1981. After a career in nursing, she matriculated into Pitt SDM, where she completed her D.M.D. in 1990. Dr. O’Donnell subsequently completed a master’s degree in higher education administration. She joined Pitt SDM as part-time faculty in 1999 while maintaining a private general dental practice. She accepted a full-time faculty position in 2003, and is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Comprehensive Care. Dr. O’Donnell is a 2008 graduate of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute, one of Pitt SDM’s liaisons to the ADEA Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education, and until recently, was Pitt SDM’s Women’s Liaison Officer with ADEA. She currently serves as hair of the ADEA Section on Academic Affairs and is also a member of OKU—the national dental honor society. Dr. O’Donnell’s research interests include curriculum, prescription drug abuse, and tobacco cessation. She has collaborated with her colleagues in these areas and on NIH and other funded research projects.

  • Sheela Raja, Ph.D.

    Dr. Sheela Raja is a licensed clinical psychologist and author of Overcoming Trauma and PTSD, The Sexual Trauma Workbook for Teen Girls, and The PTSD Survival Guide for Teens (New Harbinger Press). She is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, where she teaches Health Communication and Behavioral Science. She holds joint appointments in the departments of Medical Education and Psychology. Dr. Raja received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Boston, MA. She is a highly sought-after speaker and consultant and has given invited talks at the international and federal levels on the topic of post-traumatic stress. Dr. Raja has a passion for making evidence-based psychology accessible and is a regular guest contributor to local and national news outlets.

  • Emily Sabato, Ed.D.

    After entering the workforce as an engineer, Dr. Emily Sabato transitioned to a career in higher education—completing a master’s degree in higher education administration at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and a doctorate in education with a focus on higher education in 2014. After several years in the Office of Student Information at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Dr. Sabato relocated to northern New Jersey, working in institutional research. In 2011, she became Registrar, Director of Institutional Assessment and Quality Improvement at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Dental Medicine (RSDM) and is currently Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at RSDM. Dr. Sabato is Co-chair for the school’s accreditation self-study and is deeply involved in RSDM’s program evaluation and quality improvement efforts.

May 21, 2019
Tue 12:00 PM EDT

Duration 1H 0M

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