College 4 YOU students at the School of Dental Medicine

AURORA, Colo. – A group of middle school students recently got a ‘hands-on’ opportunity to use real equipment to perform dental procedures and see how other of the latest medical equipment works.

The 46 students from Denver’s Skinner Middle School actually worked on dental models — not real patients — to learn about dental hygiene and other symptoms and treatments. That was just one session in the day-long program last month as part of Pre-Collegiate 4 Y.O.U. Hosted by the CU Anschutz Office of Inclusion and Outreach, the participants started the day with a discussion of college life before heading over to the School of Dental Medicine.

Young students get hands-on medical training

Each student had their own lab station, where they learned about dental hygiene and corrective procedures. They all had an opportunity to clean, drill, and add sealants to a model tooth.

The young students also learned about simulations and the importance of role playing in preparing future healthcare providers to be culturally and medically competent. Using “simulated patients,” the participants were able to use the knowledge they had just learned and put it into action. 

“These young participants soon understood the stress of making life-saving decisions in a chaotic work environment,” observed Dominic Martinez, MA, senior director, Office of Inclusion and Outreach. “These students were energized, focused, and had tons of fun. Many also expressed interest in medical careers and followed up with our staff here at the University.” 

Martinez extended special thanks to colleagues who offered their time and helped to facilitate access to amazing technologies in the School of Dental Medicine including Samantha Moreno, PhD; Elizabeth Shick, DDS; and Kristy Klare, K-12 coordinator; as well as Joey Failma from the Center for Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE). 

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