Dr. Richard Rubin is an assistant professor in the Department of Dental Public Health (DPH) at the School of Dental Medicine with a secondary appointment in the School of Public Health. He is also in a core faculty position with the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
After graduation from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco in1977, he had a successful career as a general dentist in Northern California and Clovis, Ca. Upon moving to the Pittsburgh area with his family in 1991, he earned a MPH degree from the Pitt School of Public Health and then entered a Public Health Residency program in dental public health at the University of Pittsburgh. Afterward, he worked as the community coordinator for a fellowship program within the Department of General Academic Pediatrics at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and joined the faculty at Pitt Dental Medicine in 2000.
In 2001, he designed and initiated the ongoing non-clinical phase of the Student Community Outreach Program and Education (SCOPE I) and expanded the student clinical component of community service (SCOPE II). This overall program involves dental students’ (year’s I-IV) non-dental and clinical community activities and service in underserved communities throughout western Pennsylvania. While providing needed dental services to these populations, the main goals of the SCOPE program are to help: 1) develop the students’ cultural competence and communication skills, 2) create more empathic, personally-committed dentists, and 3) create a social norm of community-mindedness among dentists. Dr. Rubin’s research activities explore the development of these attitudes and beliefs among dental students and the relationship of SCOPE activities in this process. He is also interested in evaluating and implementing new approaches in teaching and learning. This includes techniques based upon active adult-learning modules, “learning communities,” debates, and discussion boards.
In 2007, Dr. Rubin received an Innovation in Education grant from the Pitt Provost’s office for his original teaching methods. In 2014, he designed and implemented the Pitt Dental Medicine Certificate in Dental Public Health program, and has been involved with helping to coordinate the Pitt Dental Medicine concurrent degree program (DMD/MPH) in affiliation with the Pitt School of Public Health. As a core faculty member of LEND Pittsburgh, he is involved in special needs training programs for a multidisciplinary group of post-graduate health care workers, including dental students.