Redefining the ICP Experience through Online Learning


Angela De Bartolo, DDS

Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Cariology & Comprehensive Care

Dr. Angela De Bartolo

The Integrated Case Presentation (ICP) seminars, developed in 2008 as part of the Comprehensive Care course at NYU Dentistry, introduces the clinical experience and the significance of evidence-based science in the practice of dentistry. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, the seminars were held in person, and the participants included D1, D2, D3, and D4 students. The ICP also introduced students to an interprofessional assessment of patient care, including dental hygienists as part of the presenting team. The presentation allowed students to discuss the patient, the dental and medical concerns, and the incorporation of evidence-based dentistry into clinical practice. The ICP sparked the kind of constructive dialogue that motivates students to keep in mind their foundational knowledge in delivering comprehensive care.

With the onset of the COVID pandemic, the course was modified to no longer include the D1s and D2s and to present the course virtually. This transition to a Zoom format with only the D4 and D3 students had its pros and cons. To bring all students together at the same time, the Zoom course began early, between 6:45 and 7:00 am. That the course was presented by Zoom made the early-hour attendance easier for most; the downside being a lack of "Zoom etiquette." Because the presentations began so early, the students' appearance was often unprofessional. Students darkening their screens and being called on repeatedly for participation hindered engagement. Adding to the challenge, the course actually started earlier for the students, because in preparation for the course, the D3 and D4 students had to communicate before instruction began. The students weren’t happy with that kind of interaction; they felt relationships could be built more effectively and they could collaborate better in person to create a better presentation. I sensed that it was challenging because it was different; ultimately, we realized that we could maintain student/student and teacher/student relationships virtually.




dental chair




Regardless of the venue, bringing students together in small groups each week for the entire academic year to participate in ICP allows a sense of camaraderie to develop. Many dental students are anxious about the responsibility for delivering patient care. The ICP allows novice D3 students to be exposed to clinical cases while establishing relationships with D4 students, who will mentor, support, and guide them.

The Integrated Case Presentation enhances the students' professional growth by emphasizing the dentist's role as a primary health care provider and team member. We overcame the initial challenge and successfully migrated the ICP environment to the Zoom platform. In addition, we strengthened the experience by incorporating clinical competencies in the presentation and emphasizing the dental care provided to the patient. I believe strongly that the ICP plays a positive role in developing critical thinking among students regardless of the platform. The ICP allows students to engage in discussions about actual patient issues and fosters better communication among themselves, enabling them work more effectively as a team.


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