New York Univerity (NYU)’s Dental Faculty Practice provides a clinical site for predoctoral student education. According to NYU’s College of Dentistry (NYUCD), the opportunity for dental students to have a private practice experience as part of their clinical training is unique to the University.

“Beginning in the summer following their third year, five groups of six students each work one day a week at the NYU Dental Faculty Practice located adjacent to the New York University Health Center at the University’s main campus in Greenwich Village. Students participating in the program, a 40-week ‘senior elective mini residency,’ must be in academic good standing with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher,” said Cosmo V. DeSteno, DMD, PhD, associate dean for clinical affairs and chief operating officer of the NYU Dental Faculty Practice.

Each NYU dental student is assigned to a private treatment room and is overseen by licensed dental faculty in the diagnosis and treatment of his or her patients, who are students from other NYU schools and colleges.

“Although a supervising faculty member would come to my treatment room at the Faculty Practice to answer my questions and to check on the care I was providing, faculty rarely sat chairside for most of a patient’s appointment, as is often the case in the predoctoral patient care centers at the college,” said Stephen DiBenedetto, DMD, ’09, in an announcement about the program. “I learned to work quickly and efficiently, seeing an average of seven patients a day compared to seeing two patients a day at the college.”

“Although they are still students,” said Barbara Donofrio, director of the NYU Dental Faculty Practice, “the students are nevertheless expected to assume many of the responsibilities of a practicing dentist. For example, any student who can’t make it to the Practice is responsible for finding another student in the program to cover for them. We also expect students to be familiar with the Faculty Practice fee schedule, and to be comfortable discussing it with their patients.”