On Monday, August 3, Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) welcomed a new class of first year dental students, entering the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program. The thirty-five talented individuals were chosen from over 1,000 applicants. They hail from sixteen different states, and three countries, and represent a wide range of backgrounds and interests. Sixty-six percent of the entering class is female—the largest percentage to date.
Dean Bruce Donoff welcomed the students during a morning reception held in the Research and Education Building. “You, our students, are our most important asset,” Dean Donoff stated in his remarks to the class. “I welcome you to a community based on merit and passion. Everyone in this School is committed to your success and happiness,” he said.
The new DMD class will be the first to enter a newly redesigned curriculum, called the Pathways program, which focuses on the integration of oral health and medicine. The curriculum will offer a primary care clinical experience for first year dental students in the Harvard Dental Center’s Student Teaching Practice, titled the Foundational Continuity Clinic. First year dental students will rotate through the Clinic on Wednesday mornings starting in mid-September 2015.
Four members of the incoming class are Poussaint Primary Care Scholars, from underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, who participated in a 7-week pre-matriculation summer program and research forum focused on primary care.
“This is an exciting time to be at HSDM,” Dr. Sang Park, assistant dean for dental education, said. “The new curriculum will provide an opportunity to incorporate primary care medical education into the predoctoral dental curriculum, using the primary care rotations for students in a dental setting as a platform for change in our approach to patient care,” she stated. Dr. Park will provide a full overview of the new curriculum on Tuesday, August 4 to the new students.
HSDM senior tutors, Dr. Samuel Coffin, Dr. Peggy Timothé, and Dr. Aram Kim, introduced students by name and gave them the opportunity to say a few words to their fellow classmates. Nancy L. Jones, associate dean for development and alumni relations, also welcomed the students and gave them a brief overview of the progress of The Campaign for Harvard School of Dental Medicine and plans to celebrate the upcoming 150th Anniversary of HSDM in 2017.