Visit to UBC School of Dentistry

21 03 2012

As someone who one might call a keener and a “living in the future” type person, I tend to always plan ahead and want to see what things will be like in the future. Today I had a chance to look into what my future might (hopefully *will* but you never know) look like. Catherine our FSL leader, has kindly let Megan ( a fellow FSL student) and I, accompany her to one of her UBC classes. Both of us were really excited and did not really know what to expect and I was hoping if this experience could show me weather I see myself in that position or not.

I can definitely say that I see myself in a similar classroom 5-6 years from now. I can usually tell if something will interest/please me, and this was certainly my type of place. The class consisted of 8 students who seemed to be more or less friendly with each other and who shared their knowledge and collaborated on answering questions from their previous class, and on trying to diagnose a woman from a case study. The class began with them taking turns answering questions ( and writing the answers on the board) as well imputing their own knowledge into other peoples answers. A few examples of questions were ” What is coughing? ” and ” What is Wheezing?”. Another interesting question was one where they had to compose a chart that contrasts characteristics of 5 pulmonary diseases ( all of which are really similar, so it’s pretty hard to differentiate between). It was nice to see that students took initiative in answering the questions and that they imputed their own thoughts to help each other. Afterwards students were given a case study where they had to look at a elderly smoker woman’s test results, symptoms and characteristics and develop a diagnosis for her. After going through diagrams, discussing possible diseases, answering questions, they diagnosed her with Emphysema ( which is apparently a tabooed term, so people use the term COPD).

For me, listening to their critical thinking and out loud problem solving was very interesting. I have just finished the respiratory system in Bio 12, so I had somewhat an idea of what they were talking about. It was also nice to hear explanations from some of the students, because there were a few that stood out with their speaking skills, general background knowledge, and ability to ask good questions. When their class was over, they also talked a little about why they chose Dentistry, and many said that it happened later in their education. This led me to question weather I actually will go to Med School, or if I will slightly/drastically change my career path in the future.

In summary, I really did enjoy the class, and could definitely see myself studying in that type of environment. That being said, there is so much that can happen in the next six years, so instead of concerning myself with the future, I think I will stay focused on the present and go enjoy my spring break by watching Dexter πŸ™‚

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5 responses

21 03 2012
megannantel

Soooo I see you already blogged about this but I’m going to too! πŸ™‚ I’ll read yours after I write mine πŸ˜‰

22 03 2012
genegeek

Emphysema is really only a taboo word for that class – they were using it before knowing what it meant. It is interesting to see your impressions πŸ™‚ I’d love to share this post with the students – is that OK?

25 03 2012
valeryzaby

Of course you can show your students : )

26 03 2012
Sandy

I enjoy watching people solve problems “out loud”, too. As an instructor it can be hard to create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable doing that (and don’t just shoot each other’s ideas down).

26 03 2012
Jennifer Kirkey

Sounds like you had a good visit and experienced how people learn at the School of Dentistry. Seeing how things work is always useful and does make your future have more possibilities and that is always a good thing. You can learn a surprising amount of anatomy watching Dexter – I do admit to being fond of it myself. I teach first year physics and astronomy at a local community college. Science classrooms do differ, some with lots of interaction and some with less, but the ability to think critically is important in every discipline and I am pleased you had such a good experience. I wish you well in the future, whatever it holds.

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