The four year RIDE program, based in the University of Washington School of Dentistry (UWSOD), offers the first year of instruction to eight students at the EWU Riverpoint campus in Spokane. The small class size affords the students direct interaction with the exceptional faculty of the RIDE program unlike any they have experienced. The support staff of the program ensure the students have everything they need to proceed into the remaining years of the program.
The primary mission of RIDE is to provide access to high quality, publicly-funded dental education to states and regions in the Northwest in order to develop dentists who will make a personal commitment to serving the needs of rural and underserved communities.
RIDE is an outgrowth of the University of Washington School of Dentistry's (UWSOD) mission to take a leadership role in improving the health and well-being of the people of the community and the region through outreach programs that are especially attentive to minority and underserved populations.
Between the First and Second years of the program, RIDE students will be able to participate in a Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP), working four weeks at a rural clinic.
Program options information is available at the University of Washington, School of Dentistry web site.
Many dentists in the region are older than the national average, and retiring dentists are not all being replaced, especially in rural areas. In Washington State, for example, 50% of dentists are predicted to retire by 2013. In addition, there are federally designated dentist shortage areas throughout the Northwest. Without additional capacity in dental education, these communities will face increasing dentist shortages.
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