The four-year DDS program at the College of Dental Medicine is rigorous and heavily biomedical. In their first 18 months, dental students follow a curriculum which is nearly identical to that of our affiliated medical school, the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Students make an early connection between oral health and general health and cultivate the intellectual, ethical, and interpersonal skills that are critical for all members of a healthcare team. An outstanding clinical education and countless opportunities for research and community service prepare our students for leadership careers in oral health.
Students begin their course of study alongside medical students with four challenging biomedical foundation courses taught primarily by medical school faculty. Dental correlations are provided through small group sessions and case-based and team-based learning approaches. Clinical clerkships, beginning in the second semester, encourage students to apply what they are learning in both the biomedical courses and behavioral science courses, sharpening skills such as patient history and diagnosis, wellness counseling, nutritional assessment, and counseling in cases of addictive behavior.
The clinical phase of the curriculum follows the comprehensive dental care model, in which students provide complete general dental care to a panel of patients under the guidance of their faculty mentors. These two years focus on demonstration of clinical skills and the ability to bring to completion the care of the assigned patients.
Students at the College of Dental Medicine are encouraged to participate in research and community service as part of their dental education. There are many opportunities for students to pursue their interests in these areas. There are also opportunities to participate in global health initiatives and foreign academic partnerships throughout their enrollment.