Dentistry in the Community (DIC) courses present information regarding the delivery of care in specific communities as well as local, state, regional, national, and world health issues affecting oral health and oral care. DIC integrates the clinical knowledge being developed with behavioral sciences and practice models that apply to underserved populations. All D2 and D3 years, students must develop, organize, implement, and evaluate a project that addresses a specific oral health need in a group or community. In addition, through two volunteer participation activities each year, students are able to evaluate how other agencies are addressing many issues around oral health.
MOSDOH's mission is to make available a varied array of community learning opportunities to target the diverse interests of students. Currently, several community-based learning experiences require mandatory student participation, including Give Kids a Smile and Lessons in a Lunchbox. Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM) is another community-based learning experience that students are encouraged to participate in. MOMOM is a large scale dental clinic that provides free dental services to individuals of all ages; located in a different community each year and spans two days with volunteers from all over the state of Missouri. MOSDOH students participate in dental assisting rotations through the Northeast Missouri Health Council. This exposes students to a diverse group of patients in a clinical health center setting. These events ensure students are exposed to a variety of populations, contributing to cultural competency.
A key component of the mission of MOSDOH is the development of Integrated Community Service Prtnerships (ICSP) that place students in community settings to complete a portion of their clinical training during their fourth year. The design of the ICSP program includes clinical education at MOSDOH’s clinical site in St. Louis for the entire D3 year, with 50% of the D4 clinical year taking place in the St. Louis clinical site and the other 50% taking place in CHC clinics, principally in Missouri. The D4 students will participate in 4 to 5 rotations of 4 – 6 weeks in length, followed by an equal amount of time at the St. Louis clinic.
The Integrated Community Service Program is a vital part of the unique educational program of MOSDOH and provides our students with:
14 CHCs in the state of Missouri have partnered with the University to provide training and treatment facilities for students in their fourth year of the program. Working in the CHCs and developing a first-hand appreciation for the effects of the care they provide will foster and deepen the commitment to public health for which MOSDOH strives.