General Medicine

Mark Schubert

2 Credits / Quarter 6 (Winter, Second Year)

Course Description

Dentistry is more than just filling holes in teeth, seating crowns, adjusting dentures, and curettage. The mouth is a part of a whole person. Oral health can affect systemic health, systemic health issues can affect the mouth, and both will affect your ability to provide dental/oral care. The lecture portion of this course is intended to provide practical knowledge relative to the integration of medical knowledge (physiology, pathology, pharmacology, etc.) into the knowledge base you will need to know in order to more safely, efficiently, and effectively provide dental care for patients. This course is not intended to be an internal medicine course, though it may very well be necessary and practical that you review and understand basic concepts/principles and pathophysiology material that has been taught in courses you have taken earlier in the dental school curriculum that relate to systemic disease and medical care of patients.

Educational Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • To assess a patient’s health status as it relates to the clinical dental management of patients. We expect this course will aid in your ability to:
    • Know the potential oral manifestations of systemic diseases.
    • Know what information you should gather through observation and/or detect following review of a patient’s medical history.
    • Know what you will need to observe/monitor relative to a patient’s clinical responses to dental treatment.
  • Understand the impact of the patient’s medical health on the delivery of routine dental care, including how to adjust, modify, etc. the type and timing of dental treatment based on the patient’s medical status.
  • Understand how dental health/disease impacts the patient’s medical status and know how to prioritize and modify dental care in order to provide the most favorable outcome relative to the patient’s overall health.

Course Expectations

Learning in this course will be through the combination of a) text book reading assignments, b) reading of other supportive handout materials, c) class lectures, d) interviewing patients in Dental Urgent Care Clinic, reviewing their medical histories, and preparing a health history summary, and e) studying for and taking of mid term and final examinations.
Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course.  Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.

Course Outline

This course has 2 components:

  • Lecture Component:
    • Hematological Malignancies
    • Oral Complications of chemotherapy and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
    • Oral Complications of Radiation Therapy
    • Bisphosphonate-associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
    • Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Prevention of Bacterial Endocarditis
    • Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Joint Replacement and Other Prosthesis
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Allergy and Drug Reactions
    • Thyroid and Adrenal Disorders
    • Diabetes
    • Pulmonary Disease
    • Chronic Renal Disease
    • Pregnancy and Lactation
    • Gastrointestinal Disorders
    • Anemia and Bleeding Disorders
    • Liver Disease
    • Sleep Disorders
  • Clinical Component:
    • The clinical segment of the course consists of 2 rotations in the Basic Assessment/ Dental Urgent Care Clinic. These sessions will take place in the same time slots assigned to your Oral Radiology course (Oral Med 520), and will be on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Competencies Addressed

  • UWSOD Competency 1: Examine a patient using contemporary diagnostic methods to evaluate the head and neck region and to reach a diagnosis of the patient’s oral and craniofacial health status.
  • UWSOD Competency 4: Provide patient education in the prevention of oral diseases to promote oral and general health.
  • UWSOD Competency 5: Recognize the limits of their expertise and seek consultation with other health care providers to facilitate patient care.
  • UWSOD Competency 11: Diagnose and manage hard and soft tissue lesions and diseases of the orofacial complex.
  • UWSOD Competency 15: Assess the teeth and supporting structures and provide preventive services.
  • UWSOD Competency 22: Utilize critical thinking in assessing technical and scientific information for use in identifying patient needs and treatments.
  • UWSOD Competency 25: Manage a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal and communication skills to function successfully in a multicultural work environment.


  • The main text for the Clinical Medicine section of the course is: Little, Falace, Miller and Rhodus: Dental Management of the Medically Compromised Patient , 7th edition, 2008. This is an excellent text and reference for not only this class, but should be useful and accurate for many years into the future. It provides: a) a concise review of medical conditions, b) current medical management strategies for medical conditions, c) the impact of medical conditions on the oral cavity, and d) how dental treatment needs to be modified in light of the medical condition.
  • Special Report Harvard health News, Improving Sleep
  • Additional handout reading materials are provided on line for this course.
  • Course website

*last updated: 11/7/2011div>

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