June 7, 2016
Dr. M. Beth Miloro, Clinical Assistant Professor, Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, recently earned an MPH with an emphasis in health policy and administration from the UIC School of Public Health. Her studies provided her with information that will benefit her work at the College of Dentistry.
“I gained new insights into cultural sensitivity and barriers to care,” Dr. Miloro noted. “I have been able to apply this knowledge in the Oral Medicine Clinic and Pathology Interactive Didactic sessions with students.
“I also received valuable experience in conducting research regarding trends in health care utilization and access that I plan to continue with here at the College,” she added.
Dr. Miloro earlier had attended The Ohio State University for her Oral Pathology Fellowship and had thought about attaining an MPH since then.
“When I found out the UIC School of Public Health was one of the top schools in the country, I saw the perfect opportunity,” she said. “I selected my emphasis in health policy and administration because I wanted to have a better understanding of the complexities involved in health policy that affect the awareness of oral diseases and access to care.”
Dr. Miloro noted that there is an epidemic of oropharyngeal cancers associated with the human papilloma virus, and that there is a vaccine for them, “yet the general public hasn’t been educated about them. We also continue to see delays in diagnoses of many oral mucosal diseases. These delays appear to be associated with a lack of public awareness to seek out a dentist and/or difficulty in accessing a dentist or dental specialist.”
An American Dental Association practicum of Dr. Miloro’s involved research focusing on gaps in referrals from physicians and why they occur. She now hopes “to improve communications and referrals between our medical center and dental school, so we can reduce the time between referral and diagnosis of oral lesions,” Dr. Miloro said.
“If we can develop a more efficient process and at the same time increase public awareness of oral diseases, it would help reduce health care expenditures as well,” she added.
Dr. Miloro said she would encourage a faculty or staff member considering attaining another degree “to go for it. “It is a challenge to do with work and family, but there are now many online class opportunities that make it more feasible.
“It will help you grow in new directions and create new opportunities,” she concluded. “I’m really glad I did it.”