LAKEWOOD RANCH — The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s School of Dental Medicine officially has opened.
LECOM officials welcomed the inaugural class of 100 students during a special ceremony Monday, July 16. Students report to class July 23.
“LECOM’s heritage and our unparalleled ability to recruit, to instruct and to train first-rate osteopathic physicians, pharmacists — and now dentists — is designed to improve and to advance the health care and scientific environments of the 21st century,” LECOM Bradenton President and CEO Dr. John Ferretti said.
Dental students will start their training with a two-week basic dental technician course to prepare them for working alongside dentists during early clinical experiences in private and community-based dental practices.
The dental curriculum, in particular, includes components such as faculty-directed self-study of gross anatomy, direct comprehensive patient care in the first year, a patient-based simulation clinic and spending the entire fourth year in community-based primary care clinics in Florida and in Erie, Pa.
The new $52 million, 100,000-square-foot facility is located at 4800 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., just north of LECOM’s existing medical and pharmacy school.
The new building includes a 115-chair dental clinic, at which the students and faculty will provide care for qualifying local residents who face challenges obtaining dental care. Residents will be able to get a variety of dental treatments — ones that match the school’s educational needs — at the on-campus patient clinic once it opens, officials said.