Alan Wong

Portland Community Clinic Petition

Alan Wong
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Class of DMD 2020

April 16th, 2020


UBC Faculty of Dentistry

2199 Wesbrook Mall,

Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3

Dear Dr. Whitney,

The DMD 2020 class respectfully ask you to consider the following proposition: to either remove the Portland Community Clinic rotation or to make it an elective module.

This past year, many of our classmates had negative experiences with this rotation and we feel that the rotation is not a good learning experience. Several reasons for this include:

  • Students are not scheduled any patients but instead assigned to the emergency chair
    • Many of us did zero procedures that day, and instead were told to study on our laptops in the lunchroom
    • This time could have been an extra IGP session to progress your cases
  • Students are not allowed to observe or assist the practicing dentist, if we had no patients
    • This eliminates another learning possibility
  • Students were reproached when asking for assistance with locating supplies
    • Some students were even told they should have prepared better when asking for locating supplies
    • However, there was no in-person orientation or any resources on Canvas to prepare.
  • Students were asked to do complicated procedures they were uncomfortable with
    • Some students told the supervising dentist they were uncomfortable with doing certain procedures
    • Instead of positive feedback, students instead received disappointment and frustration from the staff
  • Students felt unsafe
    • We understand that the clinic serves an underserved population in Downtown Eastside, but many students were had to wait outside until exactly 9 AM
    • At certain times, the staff was in the office but refused to let students in until exactly 9 am
    • Many students felt unsafe as they had to wait amongst the DTES population. Many students reported they were waiting amongst people actively doing drugs on the street

Our class thinks that the module could be improved if it was offered as a elective module:

  • This still allows for UBC DMD students to help serve a high-risk population
  • By reducing the amount of students for this rotation, we can offer an in-person orientation and students can familiarize themselves with the clinic
  • Supervising dentists and staff can build meaningful mentor-student relationships if they have consistency

If this is not possible, we ask that the rotation be removed for further years. We understand if this feedback can be seen as overly negative, but unfortunately, this is the general mood we received from this rotation. The class of DMD 2020 is open to feedback. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Class of DMD 2020

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