UF SHPEP students enjoy hands-on learning in dental ‘sim lab’

SHPEP student in sim labOn May 23, a group of UF Summer Health Professions Education Program, or SHPEP, students who are focusing on a future in dentistry gathered in the Sim Lab to learn how to do restorations during the second week of the six-week program hosted on the UF campus.

Two fourth year DMD students, Olga Saniukovich and Byron Amador, coordinated and delivered an Introduction to Dental Anatomy workshop held in the UF College of Dentistry’s Simulation Laboratory. Then, with assistance from several second year DMD students, and faculty members Dr. Nini Sposetti and Dr. Olga Luaces, the 20 SHPEP students in the dental track spent the afternoon learning about dental anatomy. This was followed by hands-on activities creating tooth structures from wax and simulating tooth colored restorations on plastic teeth, similar to activities dental students learn in the first-year dental curriculum.

If you would like to see more photos of 2018 UF SHPEP activities, visit our photo album on Facebook.

UF SHPEP is beginning its second year following an award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and matching funds/support from all six Health Science Center colleges and the executive VP’s Office of Research & Education. SHPEP allows 80 pre-health students from across the country to attend an immersive experience to learn more about careers in dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health and health professions, physician assistant studies and veterinary medicine. The program, led at UF by dentistry faculty, launched in May 2017; the second session began on May 14, 2018.

“While talent is evenly distributed in our world, opportunity is not. Programs like UF SHPEP provide individuals a chance to see a path for their future that might not otherwise be evident to them. It doesn’t clear that path, of course, because hard work and dedication are the most important components for success in health care education, but it does show them the way, and I am so proud that our college plays such a pivotal role in that step,” said A. Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H., dean.

Dental student and SHPEP participantStudents visit UF for six weeks and participate in a wide variety of activities including a white coat ceremony, head and neck tumor panel, disaster response training, StrengthsQuest inventory, Health Career Development and Professionalism Workshop, and “Closer Look” events in participating colleges and programs.

The 2018 cohort includes 79 students (47 female/32 male) representing 14 states and 16 colleges/universities. Of those, 51 identify as Black/African American; 3 Afro-Latina; 20 as Hispanic/Latino; 4 as Native American; one as Asian-Latino.
For more information, see UF SHPEP