The curriculum at the College of Dental Medicine is unique in both content and approach, and is strongly medically oriented. Interdisciplinary integration characterizes all phases of the curriculum: biomedical, preclinical and clinical. Students begin with 1.5 years of study in four challenging biomedical foundation courses which are shared with the College of Physicians and Surgeons: Molecular mechanisms in Health and Disease, Clinical Human Anatomy, and The Body in Health and Disease, parts I and II. Dental correlations are provided throughout this period by the dental faculty using small group sessions and case-based and team-based-learning approaches.
Clinical clerkships are scheduled in the 2ndand 3rdsemester to enable the students to apply what they are learning in the biomedical courses: medical history, physical diagnosis, and in the behavioral science courses: patient interviewing, wellness counseling, nutritional assessment, counseling in cases of addictive behavior. Semester 4 is devoted to basic dental science courses as well as an intensive, case-based preclinical dental simulation course.
The clinical phase of the curriculum follows the comprehensive dental care model, in which students under the guidance of their faculty mentors provide complete general dental care to a panel of patients. Throughout these two years demonstration of clinical skills and the ability to bring to completion the care of the assigned patients are stressed.
In year 3 all students have a total of 4 rotations to affiliated hospitals: 2 two-week rotations in physical diagnosis in the fall semester and 2 three-week rotations in general dentistry in the spring semester. Primary medicine grand rounds provide opportunities to integrate previously learned biomedical information into the dental care of the students’ own patients.
An honors program in an area of individual interest is available for a select group of students during the final semester.