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The curriculum of the School of Dentistry is designed to be responsive to the needs of contemporary dental practitioners. This is exemplified in the School of Dentistry’s comprehensive patient care program.
Comprehensive Patient Care Program
The clinical curriculum of the School of Dentistry is based on a general practice model. The philosophy of this model is to provide quality comprehensive dental care without fragmentation into separate specialties or disciplines. Students learn to focus on the patient’s total dental needs rather than a single clinical procedure. The program that applies this philosophy is the Comprehensive Patient Care Program.
The Comprehensive Patient Care Program is patient centered and guided by general practice principles. This allows for easier integration of basic, behavioral and clinical science concepts in the delivery of patient care. One of the primary objectives of the Comprehensive Patient Care System is to build upon the principles the students have been exposed to during their training in the preclinical disciplines. Students are assigned to a Comprehensive Patient Management Group (CPMG), which is operated as a group practice. The group leader administers each CPMG and monitors the progress of each patient through his/her treatment plan. Students interact with support personnel modeled after a private practice setting. Dental assistants and additional faculty support complete the CPMG. Students collaborate with specialty disciplines, similar to a referral system used in private practice. Clinic treatment and instruction is designed to assure clinical competence in the various dental disciplines. Each D3 (third year) and D4 (fourth year) dental student is expected to demonstrate a satisfactory level of competency in the assigned CPMG and during block rotation assignments. Basic skills and mock board examinations allow the students the opportunity to demonstrate basic clinical knowledge and its application in the performance of patient treatment. Each CPMG holds regularly scheduled dental rounds sessions in which students present clinical cases and related issues of patient care.
Both first- and second-year students participate in CPMG activities, including dental rounds, and are assigned to provide simple dental care to patients and to serve as dental assistants for third and fourth year students. The curriculum enhances the development of interpersonal patient skills and the reinforcement of the moral and ethical standards of the dental profession. The School of Dentistry has a long record of treating the underserved throughout the state of Wisconsin, as well as reaching out to the community through both urban and rural community sites. These are integral parts of the students’ education and, as such, students are required to complete assigned rotations in order to graduate.These rotations include, but are not limited to, the Marquette University Community Dental Clinics in the city of Milwaukee, the Tri-County Community Dental Clinic in Appleton, the Peter Christensen Dental Clinic in Lac Du Flambeau, the Ministry Dental Center in Stevens Point, and the Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire. Students provide both preventive and clinical dental services to these underserved populations.