UWSOD Regional Initiatives in Dental Education

The RIDE program was developed by the University of Washington School of Dentistry (UWSOD) to address oral health workforce needs in rural and underserved communities. RIDE is a partnership with Eastern Washington University (EWU), Washington State University (WSU) and the UW School of Medicine WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) program to create educational efficiencies as well as innovations. Dental associations, community health centers, Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), and other stakeholders also play an invaluable role in supporting RIDE activities. RIDE was funded by the Washington State Legislature in 2007. The first cohort of RIDE students graduated in 2012.

The RIDE Educational Model

The RIDE curriculum includes a significant amount of training in rural and underserved areas to increase the likelihood that students will practice in these communities after graduation. RIDE students spend their first year of dental school in Spokane at the Riverpoint Campus of EWU and WSU. The first-year curriculum is equivalent to the UWSOD’s and is taught by faculty from UWSOD, EWU and WSU. Using cutting-edge distance-learning technologies, RIDE students are connected to the UWSOD campus and remotely attend many courses with their Seattle classmates. The first year also includes a four-week community-based rotation in a dental clinic in a rural and underserved community. RIDE students spend the second and third years of dental school at the UWSOD Seattle campus. During their fourth year, RIDE students return to regional dental clinics for 4-6 months, refining their clinical and professional skills under the supervision of UW affiliate faculty preceptors. These experiences increase students’ familiarity and comfort providing dental care for rural and underserved populations and expose them to practice opportunities in these communities. Affiliated sites are part of RIDE’s teledentistry network for continuing education, clinical consultation, and academic support.

RIDE news roundup

Open house this fall: Dental school applicants are invited to attend a RIDE open house this fall to learn more about the program.

On the front lines: RIDE students fanned out this spring to help bolster oral health care at community clinics around Eastern Washington.

First RIDE graduates: RIDE’s first graduating class shows that the program is on track with its goal of providing care to underserved areas of Eastern Washington.

New duties: Dr. Frank Roberts, named RIDE Director of Operations, is taking on a larger role with the program.

Innovation: RIDE was named a finalist in the AMX Innovation Awards presented at the 2012 UBTech conference.

Mentor par excellence: Dr. Dorothy Stewart, liaison between RIDE students and the Department of Restorative Dentistry, provides a welcome voice of reassurance.

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