University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry/Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center Hospital Rotation Program Successful
A year-old predoctoral hospital dentistry program offers dental students a new opportunity for obtaining hospital experience. Under the direction of Joel M. Laudenbach, D.M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences (OMDS), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry third-year dental students (D-3s) get their experience at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Chicago's North Side. A pilot program began in spring 2009 with 24 D-3s, and has expanded to all D-3s this year.
"They go to the hospital for a total of two full days between the fall and spring semesters," Dr. Laudenbach explained. "It's staggered; we have groups of four different students each week on Thursday during the fall, and then they return for one more day in the spring. The goal of the program is to have dental students get acclimated to the hospital environment from the dentist's perspective, to learn how to better communicate with our medical colleagues and become comfortable with reviewing medical tests that influence dental care, such as blood test reports," he said.
Students spend time in various parts of the hospital including the emergency room (ER), going on rounds, observing the interpretation of diagnostic imaging of the head and neck, and attending internal medicine's morbidity and mortality conferences. "I really enjoyed my time at Masonic and learned a lot," said student Rana Shahi. "I was able to shadow an ER doctor and was able to see how what we have learned from textbooks is applied in a real-life patient setting."
At the hospital, the dental students are under the jurisdiction of Harvey Wigdor, D.D.S., an alumnus of the UIC College of Dentistry who is Chair, Department of Dentistry, and Director of the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center General Practice Residency (GPR) program.
"My department is one of the few dental departments I'm aware of in a hospital, and that's why UIC asked to partner with us. We have the residency training program that provides a significant dental component to the hospital. We have more than 30 dental staff representing all the different dental specialties, and we have wonderful faculty training the residents," says Dr. Wigdor.
The idea for the program came from UIC College of Dentistry Dean Bruce S. Graham, D.D.S., M.S., M.Ed., and Richard Monahan, D.D.S., M.S., Head of OMDS, who asked Dr. Laudenbach to run the new program. "The benefit to the College is that students are graduating with firsthand experience in a hospital setting," Dr. Laudenbach said. "It's not a lot, but it does afford them some level of comfort in practice if they are asked to see a hospital patient, get called to the ER, or join a hospital staff."
"The two-day rotation is a great way for students to witness firsthand dentistry's role within the hospital," Willens concluded. "It shows dental students the importance of bridging dentistry and medicine to comprehensively treat a patient."
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry Establishes Thomas P. Hinman Endowed Award
The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry has established the Thomas P. Hinman Endowed Student Travel Award from a $20,000 gift from the Hinman Dental Society of Atlanta. The action was approved by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees at its February 5 meeting.
The endowment will be used to provide awards to outstanding dental students to support participation in important educational opportunities, including travel to the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta, the Hinman Student Research Symposium in Memphis, and the International Association for Dental Research Annual Meeting.
The Hinman Society was established in 1911 by Dr. Thomas P. Hinman and promotes continuing education in the dental profession. It currently has a membership of over 750 dentists. Its annual meeting attracts over 21,000 dental professionals who participate in informative programs, lectures, courses, and exhibits.
Medical College of Georgia Community Members Give Annual Poster Presentations
Dental research on topics including orthodontics, implants, and bone regeneration was presented during the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry's Annual Poster Presentations February 17.
The event, featuring research from MCG dental and dental hygiene students, residents, and faculty, is hosted by the School of Dentistry Student Research Group, the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Dental Research, and the American Student Dental Association. The junior dental student with the best poster will represent the school in the 2010 American Dental Association/DENTSPLY International, Inc. Student Clinician Research Program, presenting research at the association's annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, in October.
"This is a great opportunity for those involved in dental research to share their recent discoveries with their peers on campus," said Dr. Amara Abreu, Assistant Professor of Oral Rehabilitation and President of the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Dental Research.
Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health Launches Oral Health for Athletes Program
In a unique collaboration, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health (ASDOH) and major league baseball's Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels are launching the Oral Health for Athletes program, which will provide oral health screenings to athletes at spring training. The teams are the first to participate in a program that hopes to grow the service to all spring training teams.
"Often the oral health of athletes may not be a priority or may be neglected," said Robert Levine, D.D.S., Assistant Professor, ASDOH. "ASDOH is glad to provide oral health care services and education critically important to the overall health of players."
The Oral Health for Athletes program includes oral cancer screenings, oral hygiene education, spit tobacco use prevention, and oral HPV education; assessment of acute dental problems that can be treated immediately at the ASDOH dental clinics; and recommendations for mouth protection. The ASDOH mobile dental clinic will be at the spring training facilities and will use state-of-the-art tissue screening devices including mini-lasers. Exams and education will be provided by ASDOH faculty and residents in dentistry. "If anything suspicious is found on the oral exam, we can even provide a biopsy on site if needed," said Dr. Levine.
For Bryan Banks, a third-year dental student, this opportunity for outreach to athletes finds him on the other side of the player's bench. Mr. Banks is a former major league baseball player with the Milwaukee Brewers and World Series winner with the Florida Marlins who traded in his bat for a career in dentistry. "As both a former major league player and dental student, I know the importance of oral health care," said Mr. Banks. "Several of my fellow players had either oral cancers detected early or had suspicious lesions found during similar screening programs."
National Museum Distributes Patient Oral Health Education CD
The National Museum of Dentistry has partnered with United Concordia Dental to produce a CD-ROM version of the museum's popular MouthPower oral health education program. Modeled on the MouthPower Online program (www.MouthPower.org), the CD-ROM will assist dentists and hygienists in educating their patients about the benefits of good oral health.
The program features the chatterteeth character Mouthie in an interactive laboratory where children can learn how to brush and floss, make smart food choices and steer clear of the pitfalls of tobacco. The CD-ROM includes easy-to-use bilingual lessons and fun activity sheets that will help children learn good oral health habits. It will be distributed to 45,000 United Concordia participating dentists nationwide, as well as to those who request the program through the museum.
"The secret to a healthy smile is simple â€“ taking good care of your teeth," said National Museum of Dentistry Executive Director Jonathan W. Landers, M.B.A. "The MouthPower program shows kids how to do that in a fun and educational way."
"We are excited to partner with the National Museum of Dentistry to share this outstanding oral health education program with our participating dentists," said Karen A. Whitesel, United Concordia Dental Corporate Vice President of Professional Relations. "Our hope is that this exciting tool will help dentists teach their young patients lifelong habits that maintain healthy smiles."
The National Museum of Dentistry's MouthPower oral health education program teaches children about good oral health around the world through its online game (available in English and Spanish at www.MouthPower.org), across the country in a popular traveling exhibit, and on site at the museum in Baltimore in a hands-on exhibit. The program is also being adapted to be used with Head Start programs in Baltimore City and as a mentoring program for Girl Scouts.