Small Group Case-based Review of Medicine for Dental Students

Publication ID Published Volume
8584 June 27, 2011 7


This exercise is designed for dental students close to the end of their second year of training where it can serve as a review of major concepts related to the dental management of medically complex patients. By design, the cases require only limited dental knowledge. On the other hand, the medical clinical presentation in many of the scenarios contain intentional ambiguities that force the students to make and justify assumptions and decisions', in keeping with reality. The cases require the participating students to work together to identify learning needs and resources for the purpose of creating a presentation to deliver to the class that explains the condition identified in the scenario. Each presentation is limited to 30 minutes as a means to force students to focus on the points they consider to be most important, rather than allowing them to include all that they know. The presentation is the "deliverable" product on which they are assessed. The assessment is pass/fail and group and individual rubrics are included. It should be emphasized to the students that this is an opportunity for them to look back and showcase what they have learned while at the same time creating a quick reference resource for their clinical training years.

This exercise has consistently been rated very highly by students. From the anonymous teaching evaluations, some of the comments include: "This module allowed us to effectively integrate our learning in medicine with dentistry. I liked the review of the material, and it helped jog my memory on a lot of things that had been shoved into the recesses of my mind." "This was excellent timing for this course. I liked the presentation format." "I have really enjoyed this module so far. The topics we are discussing are so relevant to our future practice and our knowledge base. The topics do an excellent job of "bridging" our medical knowledge with dental knowledge." "The guide questions were great at eliciting pertinent medical information that we as dentists should pay attention to. Teamwork (assigned group) - I think working with people (who are not my friends), makes everyone in the group to be more on top of his/her game. Coming at the end of our med courses really can see that the past few years have not been a waste." "I think that applying the medical situations and knowledge to a dental scenario is extremely beneficial and relevant, and helps to show how much the medical knowledge we have gained in the last two years will actually apply to our dental careers."


Whitney E. Small group case-based review of medicine for dental students. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2011;7:8584.

Educational Objectives

  1. To identify a patient's presenting dental and medical issues.
  2. To summarize common medical conditions in terms of epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, clinical presentation, management, disposition, and effect on the oral cavity.
  3. To apply knowledge of the dental management of medically complex patients to patient scenarios.


  • Dental Management, Dental Practice Management, Medically Complex, Alcoholic Liver Diseases, Arthritis, Diabetes Mellitus, Steroids, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Pulmonary Embolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Venous Thrombosis, COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Emphysema, Bronchitis, Chronic Renal Failure, Chronic Kidney Failure, Hemodialysis, Renal Dialysis, Rheumatic Fever, Rheumatic Heart Disease, Case-Based

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ISSN 2374-8265