Letters to the Editor
Readers of Northwest Dentistry are invited to submit Letters to the Editor on topics related to articles or columns previously published in the journal. Letters written to express viewpoints about current policies or actions of the MDA or other agencies will be referred to an appropriate individual, department, or committee to directly respond to the author. The views expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or official policies of the Minnesota Dental Association, the Publications Committee, or Northwest Dentistry editorial staff. Letters will be accepted by e-mail at email@example.com.
March 17, 2008
To the Editors,
I am already a big fan of Dr. William Stein’s editorial column in Northwest Dentistry, so it is no surprise that I enjoyed reading “Sim City”, about the simulations clinic at the School of Dentistry, in the March-April 2008 issue. Even though I knew where the story was going, Dr. Stein’s comparison of our new advanced pre-clinical technology to a ride on the mechanical bull in “Urban Cowboy” grabbed my attention. In many ways, that is the perfect comparison: Our new facility is fascinating even to the seasoned practitioner, and worthy of taking the challenge — but be prepared, and hold on!
It was so nice that Dr. Stein accepted our invitation for a special tour of the new facility. Like so many others who have come by to look, touch, and try, he came away with a true appreciation for what has been created. It is hard to appreciate exactly what we have without a personal, on-site inspection and demonstration by our knowledgeable faculty (Dr. Judith Buchanan).
Dr. Stein hit the nail on the head with his remark that “our School of Dentistry is at the forefront of dental education”. We are there, and we are going to stay there! Our students need experiences with the latest technologies; not just how to use them, but also how to evaluate them and when to use them. They must know what should and can be expected from them, and learn not to be intimidated by them. Our faculty will continue searching and acquiring technologies that enhance student learning and promote effective teaching. But most importantly, we will be looking for advances in equipment and techniques that improve the way we care for patients. As Dr. Stein so aptly said, we want our students to “be prepared to proceed and succeed through practice”.
On behalf of all our students, staff, and faculty, I want to thank Dr. Stein for encouraging others to visit the School so that they too can take pride in this Minnesota facility. For those needing a nudging or a foretaste of what they can expect to see, there is a virtual tour of the simulation clinic on our website dentistry.umn.edu. It will prepare them for a visit. For those who haven’t been to the School in awhile, the website tour should help re-connect them. Hopefully this will motivate them to do as Dr. Stein suggests: “donate some time, talent, or treasure.” As I have told many, there has never been a better time to leave a legacy, help support the training of future associates, or keep us on the cutting edge!
Patrick M. Lloyd, D.D.S., M.S.
Dean, School of Dentistry
Professor, Division of Prosthodontics
University of Minnesota