Meet one of your University of Sydney dentistry professors!
Have you applied to the University of Sydney dentistry program?
We’d like to introduce you to Dr Susie Dracopoulos, Year coordinator, DMD1 Tooth Conservation Coordinator, Foundations of Clinical Dentistry A Unit of Study Coordinator, Academic Simulation Coordinator, and Academic eLearning Coordinator.
Being a dental student is not so different to being a busy clinician: the workload is high and it involves a lot of time management and work/life balance.
The DMD program allows students to not only be strong clinicians, but also teaches them to look for evidence before making decisions. Being a dentist is a career that requires lifelong inquiry and I think the course instills this in our students.
Being based primarily at Sydney Dental Hospital has huge advantages; it’s a working dental hospital so we see real patients with real problems. This calls for students to provide the highest quality patient-centred care—a skill vital for practice.
A typical day in DMD1 Tooth Conservation starts in our fantastic modern simulation clinics. When I am demonstrating a particular restorative technique I like to screen an instructional video, or have live demos and then students repeat this procedure on a mannequin. The content of the course is developed to give students the best foundation knowledge in dentistry, and then they can apply the manual dexterity skills to perform as a competent clinician.
As the coordinator of the simulation clinic, I’ve seen firsthand how vital it is for first-year dentistry students to develop the fine motor and technical skills they will need for practice. We’ve recently been lucky enough to receive funding to purchase some state-of-the-art virtual simulators, which give students instant feedback on their performance. This means students don’t have to wait for their tutor, or the rest of the class, and so learning becomes self-paced, and allows students to make mistakes in a safe environment.
The DMD program has a strong element of blended learning—a mix of face-to-face and eLearning. I am enthusiastic in pursuing more opportunities to expand our eLearning, giving students the flexibility to study some material in their own time and pace outside of the lecture rooms. Virtual simulation is an exciting new form of eLearning, with many more opportunities of this kind of learning soon to be included in our dental programs.
I love teaching and seeing students develop their skills and become the best clinicians they can be. I enjoy interacting with students and helping them get through the program, offering my expertise to help them find perspective on the challenges they face.
Do you think the Sydney Doctor of Dental Medicine program is right for you?
Program: Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 4 years