About the DDS Curriculum
The UCLA School of Dentistry predoctoral curriculum is currently undergoing a revision, effective with the Class of 2012 and subsequent entering classes. The main goals of this process are to integrate the basic science curriculum more closely with clinical dental practice through a systems approach, to reduce redundancy among courses, to provide independent learning time, and to employ more active learning protocols such as problem-solving, case-based teaching, and reflection. Implementation of these goals is aimed delivering curriculum content more effectively and efficiently while promoting the principles of life-long learning.
The content of the many individual courses in the previous curriculum has been integrated into 6 thematic Curriculum Tracks:
- Growth, Development and Aging
- Oral and Systemic Disease
- Professionalism and Doctoring
- Restoration of Form, Function and Esthetics
Cariology emphasizes the paradigm of managing dental caries as an infectious disease, and a similar approach informs the
Periodontics Track. These tracks have been structured to include the Microbiology and Immunology of their respective diseases as well as relevant Epidemiology and other content from the former Preventive Dentistry courses.
Growth, Development and Aging follows the patient from embryo (genetics, embryology, oral histology and craniofacial development) to end of life (palliative dental care), incorporating a bio-psycho- social model. Content from general and oral histology, oral embryology, behavioral science, and geriatric and pediatric patient management have been combined in this track.
Oral and Systemic Disease encompasses the content of the formerly separate basic science courses (e.g. Biochemistry, Physiology) in four organ-based systems courses:
- System I Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal
- System. II Gastrointestinal, Endocrine and Reproductive
- System III Neuroanatomy and Musculoskeletal
- System IV Hematology and Immunology
This track begins with the overview course Foundations in Basic Science and the Gross Anatomy lecture and lab course.
Professionalism and Doctoring provides an introduction to the responsibilities of a professional and the requirements of practice. Content in ethics, culture and health, evidence-based dentistry, quality assurance, practice regulation, and practice management comprise this track.
Restoration of Form, Function and Esthetics combines several clinical disciplines into one track, allowing for increased interaction and integration. As an example, restorations for adults and children are taught concurrently rather than in two different courses several quarters apart. Dental materials has been telescoped to present the materials just prior to their use in the lab. Elements of diagnosis and treatment planning are included in many preclinical lab courses in order to more thoroughly simulate clinical situations.