A Week in the Life of a Dental Medicine Student

First Two Years (50 hrs/wk)

Last Two Years (45 hrs/wk)

Pie chart depicting time spent in first 2 years Pie chart depicting time spent in last 2 years

Students in classFirst Two Years

Class Time, Simulation Clinic and Clinic: You will participate in formal instruction in a variety of settings: the classroom, simulation clinic, on-campus clinic, and community-based settings. Faculty use a variety of educational methodologies, including traditional lecture, seminars, case-based and problem-based learning, on-line modules, laboratory, clinical simulation, standardized patient exercises, direct patient care, and service learning.

Studying and Clinical Skill Development: You will study and practice clinical skills outside of formal class time. You will have 24-hour access to virtually all instructional material presented by faculty online and through the Vital Source Dental Library on DVD. The Simulation Clinic in the new Health Education Center will be open to you on selected evenings for clinical skill development.

Community Service: As a WesternU dental student, you will participate in extensive community-based clinical care experiences. In the first two years, you will learn how to meet the needs of the community through assessment, education, and preventive programs. In addition to formal service learning, you will gain important experience through the numerous study clubs and student organizations on campus.

Clinical Skill Immersion Sessions: During the summer sessions, you will spend several hours/week in simulated and direct patient care activities, focusing on the acquisition of foundational clinical skills. In the first summer, you will focus on diagnostic and reversible clinical procedures, while in the second summer you will progress to learning hard and soft tissue surgical skills. Prior to or immediately following the second summer session you will take the National Board Dental Exam Part I.

Last Two Years

Students on rotations

Class Time: During the D3 and D4 year, you will participate in advanced integrated clinical seminars and have the opportunity to pursue clinical research. During the D4 year, you must study for, and pass, the National Board Dental Exam Part II..

Clinical Rotations and Comprehensive Care Clinic: Starting in the D3 fall term, you will spend time in direct patient care, both on campus at the WesternU Patient Care Center and in the Community-Based Clinic network. You will provide a broad range of general dental treatment in your Comprehensive Care group of faculty and students. Also you will participate in clinical rotations in specialized clinics that include oral surgery, pediatrics, geriatrics, and special care dentistry.

Studying, Clinical Skill Development, and Clinical Preparation: During the D3 and D4 year, you can expect to spend at least 10 hours each week outside of scheduled clinic and didactic classes. This time includes individual and directed group study, advanced clinical skill development, and supporting direct patient care.

Community Service: As a WesternU dental student, you will participate in extensive community-based clinical care experiences. You will work in clinical sites such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), community health centers, hospital-based clinics, and private dental practices. Most of these sites will be in the Southern California, In addition to our formal service-learning program, you can also hone skills through the numerous study clubs and student organizations on campus.

Non-Academic Time

For long weekends or during spring and winter breaks, you can go home to see your family, ski, or maybe take a trip to Las Vegas. There are many cultural and recreational things to do when you live in Southern California, so our students try to take advantage of them when they can.