Classroom Vignette #4

Classroom Vignette #4

Vignette #4

Looking in: Endodontics

 Dr. Jane Sigel presents the following case to the students.  She states that, a patient presents and complains of sensitivity to hot and cold in the maxillary right quadrant. The patient asks the dentist for a pain prescription.  Dr. Sigel asks the students, “What is the next step?” She asks them to write on a sheet of paper, “What questions to have to proceed with this case?” After giving them two minutes to write their questions she asks students to share what they have written. After five seconds, nobody has volunteered to share, she continues to wait and probes the students by asking other questions. “What are you thinking? What other information do you need? Twenty hands are immediately raised. One student shares, “I would want to do a percussion test.” The professor states, “Good, now what else?” Another student replies, “Does the patient have sinus problems?”  Another student volunteers, “I would want a radiograph.” The professor asks, “Why?” Another student suggests that the area be palpated.  Next a student asks if this patient has had previous endodontic treatment? Another students asks if the patient has any deep cavities. One student asks if the patient has a drug abuse history. The professor asks the students to form groups of four individuals and rank order the suggestions that have been provided from most important to least important and to come up with a differential diagnosis. The professor moves from small group discussions back to the large group. She puts a radiograph on the board. The radiograph shows radiolucency on tooth #4 at the apex and that the tooth has had previous endodontic treatment. Dr. Sigel then asks each student to write down how they would communicate their diagnosis, treatment plan, and the cost to the patient.

1. Describe how the teacher provides instruction.

2. What are some strategies that the instructor used to promote critical thinking skills?

After you answer these questions, you may wish to review the author’s impressions in Appendix D.

Avenues for research