Fall Tidings As We Transition and Grow

Fall Tidings As We Transition And Grow

Phil MaruchaDear School of Dentistry community,

With school starting, leaves lost, and changing clocks, autumn is known as a time of change. There are a number of transitions underway at OHSU School of Dentistry this fall as we work together to engineer the future of oral health education and patient care.

In mid-August, we welcomed 75 potential new dental professionals into our fold. This is our first dental class to be educated within the Skourtes Tower, and by all reports the Class of 2018 is thrilled with the space. Krista, 21, from Colorado, likes the building because it’s “bright and cheerful,” Negin, 24, from Portland, appreciates the new equipment and technology, and Daniel, 22, a San Francisco native, is excited about the interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities that await, given the daily rubbing of elbows with OHSU students from all disciplines and possibilities for small group learning (see more on the Class of 2018 on Top News Stories, www.ohsu.edu/sod).

This is a diverse class, not just in ethnicity, but with an age range of 21 to 47, and matriculants from nearly every Western state. As always, our new class is an educated bunch, with an overall grade point average of 3.61, and a handful of incoming students with either two bachelor’s degrees, or a master’s degree in addition to their bachelor’s degree.  

The transition to our new facility on South Waterfront (2730 S.W. Moody Avenue, Portland, Ore., 97201-5042) has been reasonably smooth, and we continue to fine-tune our operations to match the variations in our new home. With the return of all our students, patient care is proceeding well, with a noteable uptick in Spanish-speaking patients. The incredible views from the operatories and professional care by students, with supervision by faculty, also are regularly remarked upon by our clientele.

We are focused on a six-to-one student-to-faculty ratio on the pre-doctoral clinic floor and, to that end, we have recently hired a number of new faculty. Eight new faculty are replacement faculty for those leaving or retiring, and there are another 27 new faculty in the works, 10 of those research faculty. We are also grateful and committed to our current part- and full-time faculty, and want to ensure they have the resources necessary for excellent patient care and education.

The Dean’s Seminar Series continues this fall, with the entire dental community invited to join our lunchtime learning. The dates of Oct. 24 and Jan. 6 have speakers confirmed (Brian Lee Schmidt, M.D., Ph.D., D.D.S., professor in the departments of plastic surgery, otolaryngology, surgery, and neurosurgery and physiology at NYU College of Dentistry, is the October speaker, and Michael Gold, Ph.D., professor of anesthesiology and associate director of the Center for Pain Research at the University of Pittsburgh, is the January speaker), and December 12, March 31, and June 9 are tentative dates for additional seminars. The seminars are from noon to 2 p.m. in our Dental Lecture Hall in the atrium of the OHSU/OUS Collaborative Life Sciences Building (www.ohsu.edu/sod for directions) and more information will be on the web as the seminars draw closer.

If you can’t make our seminars, or we don’t see you at the Cantwell Memorial Golf Tournament or Cantwell Lecture/ Margaret M. Ryan Dental Hygiene Update in September (register here), we hope that you’ll arrange for a tour of the Skourtes Tower to see firsthand what is likely the most modern dental education facility in the country.  

OHSU’s state-of-the-art Skourtes facility now matches our reputation for clinical excellence and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,

Phil Marucha Signature

Phillip T. Marucha, D.M.D., Ph.D.
OHSU School of Dentistry Dean
(503) 494-8801