UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Lavin, Daniel P

Dental School
Comprehensive Dentistry

I develop, prepare, and provide preclinical, clinical and academic training to pre-doctoral dental students throughout all four years of dental school. I am involved in the development of curricula and other administrative duties in support of the School of Dentistry`s mission. Providing didactic and clinical instruction to my students at the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry has been the highlight of my professional career in dentistry. I have found my students to be eager and responsive learners, always open to the knowledge and demonstration of clinical skills I provide during instruction. My philosophy of teaching is founded in respectful, caring behavior and fostering of students? strengths. I find that Socratic questioning is a useful teaching methodology which supports respectful dialogue and fits well with my teaching philosophy. When clinical situations arise which require redirection, I use Socratic inquiry to guide the student in discovery of the solution and rationale to understand how these align with best practices and patient safety. I make a point to discuss the situation in an area apart from the operatory, affording privacy and demonstrating respect for the student. I have found the best learning to take place in these situations because the student is the one to make the discovery and then apply it in real time to their clinical work. By doing so the student enhances their ability to think critically, gains confidence, and builds upon their clinical competence. I want my students to enjoy learning and strive to demonstrate enthusiasm and a positive attitude, always open to students? questions and concerns. I take student feedback seriously and use their suggestions to improve course content and become a better instructor. Injection of humor at the appropriate moment serves to lighten the situation and decrease the anxiety of both the student and patient. The student is then better able to focus on their clinical work and the patient is more responsive to treatment. Students as individuals present with unique experiences, strengths, and sometimes limitations. I make a point to recognize and nurture each student?s strengths and abilities and have found that by doing so, limitations are remedied. I am proud to serve in my role as an instructor at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry and will always strive to support students and provide an excellent learning environment for them. The role is not without its challenges and surmounting these challenges involves collaborative discussion and problem solving among faculty and administration. I have thus far found this to be largely successful. I look forward to continued collaboration of this sort as we work together to ensure our students graduate and begin their professional careers as competent, caring health care providers

9/2015 - Present Clinical Assistant Professor The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School, Comprehensive Dentistry, San Antonio, TX