My four years of dental education at University of Iowa gave me a great base of knowledge and clinical skills to carry into practice after graduation. However, with continually advancing research, technology, dental materials, complex treatment plans and patient expectations, I knew an additional year of education and supervision, especially during advance clinical cases, would benefit both my patients and me before private practice.
The Meriter General Practice Residency (GPR), set within the Max Pohle Dental Clinic, is a well-respected and fully utilized dental center. Dr. Brysh and the entire support staff made me feel welcome immediately and have made the transition from dental school a wonderful experience. An appreciation for the residency is demonstrated by how former residents speak of the program, as well as the large number of past residents and specialists who serve as adjunct faculty. The program benefits from faculty and staff sharing their knowledge, expertise and experience, through both didactic lectures and hands-on clinical supervision during advanced clinical procedures that a resident performs.
Thus far, my experiences at Meriter have exceeded my expectations. I have improved my patient-management skills and increased my clinical speed immensely. I’ve learned new techniques and vastly improved my restorative dentistry capability. I’ve learned to manage maintenance checks, an essential aspect of the dental practice. In approximately two months of practice, I have gained a great deal of surgical experience extracting teeth, including third molars. I have placed three endosteal implants, including immediate placement after extraction of the mandibular first molar. Subsequent experiences I’ve had were practice with fixed and removable prosthetic cases; periodontal surgery and bone grafting; identification of an extraoral mass, diagnosed as a salivary gland tumor; multiple endodontic procedures, including molar root canal treatment; apexification and the exposure to new rotary and obturation systems. The Meriter GPR rotations have provided unique experiences, such as treating patients with developmental disabilities in the operating room, being a team member and giving chest compressions during resuscitation effects in an emergency code, placing staples in a large scalp laceration, intubation of patients during my anesthesia rotation and the treatment of facial space infections and trauma cases in the emergency room. The close interaction residents have with the physicians of Meriter Hospital allows for insight into the systematic issues that accompany medically complex patients.
Last, the community of Madison has been a great area for my wife and me after college. The area offers an unlimited variety of activities and opportunities within the community. I would highly recommend the Meriter GPR residency for any individual looking to advance and improve his or her clinical skills, and I would be happy to answer any questions about the program through email.
Hailu Mehanzel, DMD
University of Nevada, Las Vegas firstname.lastname@example.org My experience at Meriter GPR has been exceptional thus far. What I appreciate most about the program is that I have the ability to make my own clinical decisions with the advice of staff, when needed. As a resident, I feel that I have been exposed to a variety of situations, with respect to the different specialties, as we rarely refer patients. The only instances in which patients were referred were those that involved IV sedation or required comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Treating patients with special needs in the operating room has been a good experience. I have a greater understanding of hospital dentistry and feel comfortable with the possibility of incorporating it into private practice in the future. Seeing patients in the emergency room has given me invaluable experience, as I am learning to manage and treat dental trauma and facial space infections.
I feel that this program serves as a great stepping-stone into private practice with a great scheduling staff and assistants. If you are interested in broadening your knowledge base of general dentistry, endodontics, periodontal surgery, oral surgery, pediatric dentistry and limited orthodontic treatment, with opportunities to place implants, you should definitely look into the GPR at Meriter Hospital.
If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to contact me through email.
When asking faculty and recent graduates what experiences they felt they lacked when they first started searching for jobs, many of them noted that practices were requesting that associate applicants have five years of work experience or have completed an AEGD or GPR program. I began researching why these programs were so valued by private practitioners, and I came across Meriter Hospital’s general practice residency. I realized that at graduation, I would have a solid foundation in the core concepts of dentistry, but also recognized my limitations. I knew that I had minimal clinical experience with certain procedures, and I had plenty of room for improvement. So I searched for a program that would fulfill my clinical wish list, but also fit my personality.
Meriter’s GPR fit my needs with regard to clinical training and also offered one-on-one experience with visits to various successful practices and access to practitioners within our own dental clinic. Many of the general dentists and specialists who volunteer their time at the clinic were past residents of the GPR, which indicates how much they valued their own experience at Meriter Hospital. Many members of the clinic staff have worked there for 15+ years, which shows me that it is a harmonious environment where everyone works as a team.
As a resident, I look forward to working with an underserved community in the dental clinic, as well as in the operating room. The program will give me the opportunity to learn more about how to treat medically compromised patients with confidence in my future practice. I am also confident that it will further my clinical education in advanced restorative dentistry, pediatric dentistry, implant placement and restoration, limited orthodontics, removable prostheses, rotary endodontics and extractions of impacted teeth. I believe that after completing the Meriter GPR, I will be able to effectively communicate with physicians regarding my patients’ care, independently complete comprehensive treatment plans for my patients and, most importantly, recognize my limitations and know when to ask for help from a specialist, so that my patients receive the best quality care.
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