At the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, future physicians and health care professionals are learning in a unique environment that embraces the new interconnected realities of patient care. The Frontier Center, established 10 years ago, offers students hands-on inter-professional opportunities in a collaborative, team-based setting.
Kimberly Uweh, a pharmacy student, decided to attend the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at CU Anschutz because of the leading-edge interdisciplinary research and education taking place on campus. “My most memorable experience thus far has been working with the CU School of Dental Medicine,” she said. “My work at the Frontier Center provided me with the opportunity to talk with dental students about smoking cessation, specific antibiotics and special patient cases.”
“Research continues to indicate a connection between oral health and overall health when it comes to disease management,” said Barbara Springer, executive director of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation. “To really make an impact in student learning and patient care, an inter-professional approach is needed.”
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Eric Gilliam said, “By working alongside dental students and seeing firsthand the importance of preventative oral care, our pharmacy students become much more aware of the impact that a patient’s oral health has on that patient’s prescription needs.” For future pharmacists like Uweh, this experience is invaluable in preparing them to effectively treat patients. “It’s exciting to share information with my peers in other disciplines. Everyone is extremely intelligent, and this program provides an opportunity to better understand other medical fields.”