Dr Chris Stokes, Lead Educator from the University of Sheffield for the Discover Dentistry free online course, talks about the potential of this course to help aspiring healthcare professionals learn more about their intended career.
Getting onto a university course such as dentistry is difficult and competitive: you’ll need excellent A-levels (or equivalent), evidence of work experience and you must prove that you’ve thoroughly explored your career choice. For those of you who live in the UK or plan to come study here, you may also need to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test that ranks you against your peers based on questions that test mental abilities, attitudes and professional behaviour required for new doctors and dentists to be successful.
Discover Dentistry’s curriculum is based on an established and highly successful two-year scheme at the University of Sheffield that prepares students for a degree in dentistry. By creating a free online course, we can now reach even more students, potentially equipping thousands of aspiring dentists from around the world for their dental school application.
Completing this course will show admission tutors that you are serious about studying dentistry and will help set you apart in a highly competitive field. It will also help you decide if a career in dentistry is for you, something which web searches and watching YouTube clips simply can’t effectively do. I’m looking forward to the day I meet a student in a dental interview who can talk about their experience of Discover Dentistry course on FutureLearn.com.
The course has also been written to appeal to students from all around the world who might be interested in Discover Dentistry for reasons of personal interest, to become better informed dental patients or to take better care of their teeth. I was surprised to learn about the possibility that the MOOC may find yet another audience in people with dental phobias who want to explore their anxieties in the safety of our online course. We’ll have to wait until the first run of the course ends in April to see if it has any effect!
So if you are looking to start a career in dentistry, become an expert patient or get over a phobia of sitting in the dentist’s chair, then this could be the course for you. You can sign up here for the free online course which starts on Monday.