Smart dentists are concerned with the possibility that a patient might experience a life-threatening medical emergency during dental treatment. How will the office staff respond when faced with such a crisis? Am I prepared? Will I know what to do? What if the patient stops breathing?
Fortunately, medical emergencies are rare but still can create uncertainty. A first in dental education, the School of Dental Medicine Department of Dental Anesthesiology pioneered the development of a clinically-based emergency simulation program which, in conjunction with formal classroom training, gives dental students real-life experience in the management of common medical emergencies. High-fidelity human simulators at the University’s Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation Education and Research (WISER) Center, a world-class multidisciplinary simulation-based training facility, provide a way for dental students to experience and treat patients undergoing a medical emergency in real time. Students come away from the experience with an increased ability to apply learned material to a realistic clinical situation, and to approach their patients with confidence and skill. The WISER experience is another example of the dental school’s commitment to excellence in predoctoral education as a means to provide our community with the most prepared and qualified practitioners that dentistry has to offer.