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The University of Oakland and Detroit Mercy combine medical classes

DETROIT, Mich – The William Beaumont School of Medicine, University of Oakland (OUWB) and the School of Dentistry, University of Detroit ( Detroit Mercy) will launch a new interprofessional course to educate students of medicine and dentistry about health Health professionals collaborate for the benefit of their patients.

Beginning in March 2019, second-year Detroit Mercy dentistry students will learn communication skills and patient encounters with second year medical students at the OUWB Clinical Skills Center, (44300 Dequindre Road, First Floor, Sterling Heights) at the Beaumont Hospital, Troy. In the center, they will interact with standardized trainers.

"This academic initiative gives us the opportunity to involve OUWB's values ​​of partnership, collaboration and teamwork across organizational boundaries, requiring us all to work in teams to obtain excellent results for patients" said Robert Folberg, MD Stephan Sharp, founding dean of the William Beaumont School of Medicine at the University of Oakland, and academic director of the William Beaumont Hospital.

The design of the new joint program allows students to demonstrate and apply knowledge of their own profession and communicate with each other more effectively.

"Collaboration is beneficial from an educational point of view, as it creates opportunities for students to learn together and understand how collaborative patient management can improve health outcomes," said Mert Aksu, DDS, JD, MHSA, dean of the Detroit School of Mercy Dentistry. "Teaching students collaborative management skills will reduce the impact of the interrelationship between oral and systemic diseases and will also reduce long-term costs and improve patient satisfaction."

The topics of the session will vary and will include difficult communication problems such as the delivery of bad news, communication for pain management and partner violence. For example, one of the scenarios includes the delivery of oral cancer news to a patient standardized by a team of medical and dental students. The faculty of both schools will facilitate these interactions.

At the end of each session, students will have learned how to effectively convey difficult news to the patient; describe the types of responses that patients and families may have for difficult medical news; and apply knowledge of their own professional role and that of other team members to assess and adequately address the patient's needs. In addition, students must be able to communicate effectively with the patient and other health staff members and work collaboratively with students from other health professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values.

"There will be an awareness in which medical students will begin to understand how oral health can affect the general health of a patient, and dental students will analyze gum disease and know that a Patient may have diabetes, "said Melanie Mayberry, DDS, MS-HCM, member of the Academy of General Dentistry. "This awareness will lead them to ask a medical colleague about the treatment of diabetes."

Both OUWB and Detroit Mercy agree that this interprofessional course is important and recognize the possibility of developing it for students in third and fourth year of medical school and dentistry.

About the Wiliiam Beaumont School of Medicine, University of Oakland

The William Beaumont School of Medicine at the University of Oakland transforms medical education to Emphasize integral medical development. OUWB medical students study in a collaborative learning environment where the curriculum includes courses in humanities and clinical bioethics along with biomedical sciences to develop compassionate physicians. OUWB is a union between the University of Oakland and three hospitals within Beaumont Health, the largest integrated health care system in southeastern Michigan.

About University of Detroit Mercy

University of Detroit Mercy is the largest and most comprehensive Catholic university in Michigan, sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). The University today has the legacy of two founding institutions: the University of Detroit, founded in 1877 by the Jesuits, and the Mercy College of Detroit, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1941. The two consolidated as the University of Detroit Mercy in 1990. Detroit Mercy offers more than 100 degrees and undergraduate, graduate and professional academic programs through seven schools and colleges. Detroit Mercy educates the whole person, focusing on the value of excellent academic service to the community and a deeper spirituality to prepare graduates to live lives of purpose and awareness. For more information, visit

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