Patient helps Dalhousie dental students polish their skills
Edith Billard has been a patient at Dalhousie's Faculty of Dentistry for 50 years. The school will celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of its first graduating class this month, from May 23 to 26. Mrs. Billard has contributed to the education of at least 100 students who have passed through the Faculty of Dentistry since the early 1960s. She says she wouldn't go anywhere else.
Students in the Faculty of Dentistry's doctor of dental surgery and diploma in dental hygiene programs provide care for patients in the school's clinic. The students do simulation exercises to prepare themselves to treat patients. The first time a student places a rubber dam, makes impressions for casts or gives local anaesthesia, their classmate acts as their patient.
The Faculty of Dentistry has many long-term patients like Mrs. Billard who appreciate and enjoy the interaction they have with students. Dr. Blaine Cleghorn, the faculty's assistant dean of clinics, says some patients come to the clinic because they want to contribute to the students' education. They realize they're getting great dentistry done at the school; and the students are supervised by excellent clinicians.
As the Faculty of Dentistry approaches its centennial anniversary, it's also in the early stages of a clinic renewal. Dr. Ronald Bannerman, the faculty's assistant dean of academic affairs says a review and update of the curriculum is planned to sync with the physical changes. The school wants to improve both the educational experience for students and the treatment experience for patients.
"This is where I came and this is where I stayed. All those years and I still come back. If I can walk, I'll come." – Edith Billard, patient at Dalhousie's Faculty of Dentistry clinics since 1962
"[Mrs. Billard] has had interaction with a number of different students [and] a number of different faculty members. For somebody to come to our faculty for that long indicates loyalty and satisfaction. We're fortunate to have patients like Mrs. Billard. We're really appreciative of all the kind things she says, and we hope to continue to provide her oral health care for years to come." – Dr. Blaine Cleghorn, assistant dean, clinics, Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie
"In the new clinic model we're proposing, [we want] to try to better simulate a group practice setting. Similar to how we try to prepare our students using simulation exercises before they see patients, we also want to make the transition from dental school to private practice more seamless. We're creating a number of small group practice settings in our new clinic where dental students and dental hygiene students work closely together treating patients like they would in a private office." – Dr. Blaine Cleghorn, assistant dean, clinics, Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie
Dean Tom Boran, left, and Dr. Blaine Cleghorn with patient Edith Billard.
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- More information on the Faculty of Dentistry's clinic
- More information on the Faculty of Dentistry’s centennial anniversary
- Marilyn Klein, Communications Officer, Faculty of Dentistry – (902)-494-2264, email@example.com