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Summer 2006

In this Issue

Get ‘em while they’re Young

Recruitment is an art that the University of Southern California School of Dentistry (USCSD) is working to perfect. In their efforts to increase interest in dental school, they have decided to target local high school students with interactive field trips call “Dental Detector Days” and oral health careers curriculum.

Dental Detector Days
High school students are brought to the USCSD for a half-day field trip. During their visit, they participate in information sessions, tours and hands-on lab exercises lead by volunteer dental and hygiene students and faculty. After they tour the school, participants listen to current USCSD students speak about the dental school application process and personal challenges they had to overcome in order to pursue a career in oral health.

One of the field trip highlights is the interactive lab experience where the high school students are divided into small groups to make impressions and conduct mock clinical exams on each other. All labs are led by DDS student volunteers. The day concludes with lunch, a question and answers session, and often includes a visit by the Dean.

The success of Dental Detector Days is evident by the evaluation feedback from the students, which showed an increased interest in pursuing a dental career for most students. It also showed most students thought that dental school was very achievable for them. The majority of students indicated that they were more motivated to achieve high academic grades for a future career reward and several students wanted to become dental ambassadors at their school. Finally, an overwhelming majority of students identified a role model during the session (e.g. a volunteer dental student, dentist giving a presentation, or USCSD staff member).

Oral Health Careers Curriculum
In addition the Dental Detector Days, USCSD is developing an oral health teaching curriculum that will cover various topics in the field, from tooth anatomy and instrument identification, to oral health education and cultural competency.  Once the material is developed, student volunteers will teach the information to students who are members of the Oral Health Careers club at their pre-dental school.

For more information regarding USCSD’s recruitment activities, please contact Pri de Silva at pdesilva@usc.edu.
Pictures included


UIC “Spring Fest” Matches Students with Externship Sites

A total of 59 third-year dental students (D-3s) - 94% of the class - participated in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry’s first “Spring Fest” for student extramural rotations in April.

At the Spring Fest, 30 fourth-year dental students (D-4s) answered questions for and gave information to D-3s concerning the community clinics at which students can complete their externships.

The UIC College of Dentistry began the student extramural rotations in 2005 to give students an opportunity to treat greater numbers of patients and to provide underserved patients with oral healthcare in their own communities. The program proved to be so successful that the rotations have been increased from 30 to 60 days for the 2006-07 academic year.

Typical of students’ comments about the extramural rotations were those of D-4 Kristen McCollough: “I feel more capable and mature as a practitioner with a better sense of who I am, who I want to be, and who I want to help once I get a chance to make my small difference in this great big world.”

The April 20 event also featured a variety of ethnic cuisines, representing the wide variety of cultural backgrounds of the College’s students.

“There was tremendous excitement in the air during the Spring Fest,” said Dr. Caswell A. Evans, Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences. “We want the extramural rotations to be interesting and fulfilling for the students, and they prefer to hear about the external sites from other students. Each site and each student has a unique personality, and this event helped students match up with the sites where they will have the best experiences.”

“It was a very festive event and everyone enjoyed it and found it very informative,” said Khatija Noorullah, Clinical Community Academic Manager. “The turnout was huge. We hope to do the Spring Fest again next year.”


5th Annual Grantee Meeting around the Corner

Dental Pipeline’s last Grantee Meeting is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 and end on Friday, July 14, 2006. The theme for this event is “Make an Impact Using the Dental Pipeline Program,” and we have enlisted Any Goodman’s expertise to focus on storytelling as a tool to shape best practices. Goodman specializes in helping public interest groups, foundations, and progressive businesses communicate more effectively through print, broadcast media, and the Internet.

We have spent the last four years working tirelessly to accomplish our goals, now we must learn how to communicate the challenges we have overcome and the successes we have achieved. We will come together in La Jolla, California to share our stories and brainstorm techniques for disseminating the Pipeline message.

Ninety people have registered for the event, which is a record number. We are thrilled the meeting has generated such widespread interest, and we are sure this will make for an exciting and energizing meeting.

The meeting will be held at the lovely Estancia La Jolla Hotel in La Jolla, CA. Their website is http://www.estancialajolla.com/. If you have any questions regarding the meeting, please contact Cynthia Dunbar at cd254@columbia.edu.


10 Tips for Story Writing

The Dental Pipeline Program will hold an effective storytelling strategies workshop at the Annual Grantee Meeting. The workshop will help our funded sites refine their storytelling skills so they can communicate more effectively with various audiences.

Terrance McNally, the communications consultant and trainer enlisted to facilitate the workshop, firmly believes storytelling is “the single most powerful communications tool” we possess. Here are a few tips from Terrance.

  1. Stories are about people. (And people have names – even if you have to make them up.) Instinctively, your audience will want to know whom they will be following on this particular journey, and they also will want a mental picture of that person, so it helps to provide at least a few physical details.
  2. One or more of the people in your story has to want something: to do something, to change something, to get something. A story doesn’t really get started until the audience knows what the goal is and has a reason to care whether or not it is attained.
  3. Stories need to be fixed in time and space. Audiences don’t need every detail, but they want to know: was this last week or 10 years ago? Are we on a street corner in Boston, a Wal-Mart in Iowa, or somewhere else?
  4. While people in a story pursue a goal, they tend to talk. Direct quotes let the audience hear your characters’ unique voices, bring the audience into the action (which is precisely where you want them), and lend urgency to storytelling.
  5. Audiences bore easily. Your story has to make them wonder, “What happens next?” or “How is this going to turn out?” As the people in your story pursue their goal, they have to run into obstacles, surprises, or something that makes the audience sit up and take notice.
  6. Stories speak the audience’s language. They are colorful (thanks to telling details), concise, and clearly understandable.
  7. Stories stir up emotions. Human beings (which should comprise the majority of your audience) will not think about things they do not care about. So you have to make them care before you can get them to think about your issue. That’s the test your story has to meet.
  8. Stories don’t tell: they show. Intellectually, your audience will understand a sentence such as, “She felt hostility from the family.” But when you write, “The family wouldn’t look her in the eye,” your audience will see the moment and feel the family’s anger.
  9. Stories have clear meaning. When the curtain comes down, your audience should know exactly why they took this journey with you.
  10. Stories are containers of truth. At their essence, the best stories are about how we should treat ourselves, how we should treat other people, or how we should treat the world around us.

by Terrence McNally, A Goodman Consulting


Awards & Accolades

Dr. Caswell A. Evans, Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, has accepted two important positions of responsibility and influence. He recently was appointed by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to the State of Illinois Board of Health, and he was chosen President-Elect of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) by the membership of that national organization.

Featured Resource

John Wiederholt, a 4th year dental student at Boston University, has created a user-friendly electronic pamphlet containing information directing HIV+ patients to institutions/private practices where they may seek dental care that is covered under the Ryan White Fund (RWF).

Mr. Wiederholt aims to have the pamphlet distributed electronically to dentists, case managers, physicians and nurses in the Boston area who may be looking to learn more about the dental services covered under the RWF. Click here to download this useful brochure.

E-Newsletter Archives

About this E-Newsletter
Dental Pipeline E-Newsletter is a monthly publication of the Pipeline, Profession & Practice: Community-Based Dental Education (Dental Pipeline) program. Pipeline, Profession & Practice: Community-Based Dental Education is a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Center for Community Health Partnerships at Columbia University Medical Center. Additional funding for the Dental Pipeline: California Initiative is provided by The California Endowment. To sign up for the E-Newsletter click here or to remove your name from the list click here.



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