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James R. Geist, D.D.S., M.S.

Why you are going to love my class

I try to make my classes practically-oriented so when you leave class you take information you can apply.  In Radiology, that may be how to make and evaluate radiographs and interpret your findings.

In Pathology, it might be how to find signs of disease in patients. In Oral Pathology, it may be how to differentiate between various diseases so you can make an accurate diagnosis.

I try to make sure that the courses are not esoteric, but that you can apply the information.

My favorite part about teaching you

I thoroughly enjoy working with you, whether in clinic, in small group seminars or in the classroom setting.

One way you'll learn at UDM is through a small group of your peers, when we give you cases to write up and present. Through the Socratic method, I will ask you questions about the case and you will go over your findings to help make a diagnosis.

We'll go over the things you presented well and things you may have misunderstood.  Most of these cases are based on actual patient cases to help you relate to the every day experience of the dentist and dental hygienist.

"Great things" means…
That when you leave here, you will be ready on the first day to practice as a general dentist in a competent and honorable manner, so that you will reflect credit upon the University and your profession.
Great things in store after UDM

Upon leaving the School of Dentistry, I hope you understand the importance of diagnostic sciences in general, and radiology and pathology in particular. Everything stems from that understanding.

If you don't have the proper examination tactics, don't assess the findings properly, don't diagnose diseases or know when to refer patients for further diagnoses, then you might be making mistakes in treatment.

I hope the one important thing you learn is that you must have a proper diagnosis first when planning treatment and managing patients.

The dental profession looks really good now with strong opportunities for dental graduates. We expect our dental graduates will follow the national trend with about 80 percent going into general dentistry, and 20 percent into specialties (orthodontics, oral surgery, etc.). A few will go into academic careers, which is important since the average age for dental faculty is 57, so we need replacements for retiring faculty.

You might like to know
After 30 years in the dental profession, a lot of what I know came from experience, including learning from mistakes. "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."