Building Bridges to a Dental Career

 Building Bridges to a Dental Career

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Why choose a dental career? This summer hundreds of students from middle school to college age had the opportunity to explore this question thanks to the Building Bridges to a Dental Career Health Career Opportunity Program (HCOP) funded by HRSA.

May 31 was the start of a six-week program called Summer Dental School Experience, which brought 24 undergraduate students on campus. This intensive program focused both on coursework and hands-on experiences to prepare students for the rigors of dental school and dental school admissions. The program culminated in a successful poster session, where students presented what they had learned about health disparities in Minnesota.

While the undergraduates were on campus, the School of Dentistry also played host to the ongoing Saturday Academy for high school students. These students spent a week on campus, shadowing students in the clinic, participating in lab activities, and hosting their parents in a mock oral health exam.

A new program was implemented this summer, called the Pre-Matriculation Program. This provided incoming dental students with an overview of the first year of dental school. The program also featured a research project on health disparities research affecting an underserved community.

In addition to the HCOP programs, the Office of Admissions and Diversity hosted separate groups of high school students who were interested in exploring health careers, including groups of students from Kids into Health Care, the Center for Health Equity Summer Research Program, and Urban Scrubs. University of Minnesota dental students traveled with these programs to the HealthForce Minnesota’s Winona Scrubs Camp in Winona and to AHEC’s University on the Prairie in Lamberton, and Girls in Math Science and Engineering (GEMS) summer camps in the Twin Cities. All of these activities aim to increase the number of students from disadvantaged, rural and underrepresented backgrounds to explore and pursue health/dental careers.

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  • Last modified on July 11, 2012