Regional Initiatives in Dental Education

Earn your DDS in a community-based program while helping patients in underserved, rural areas.

Changing smiles. Changing lives.

Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) is an expansion of the University of Washington School of Dentistry in conjunction with the University of Washington School of Medicine and Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Washington.

A Community of Support

The need for new specially trained dentists in rural areas is great and opportunities are many. Your degree from the University of Washington School of Dentistry can bring needed care to the most remote corners of the region, to the people who need it most.

Start your first year of dental school in Spokane. Do your second and third in Seattle and most of your fourth in a community clinic.

The main goal of RIDE is to increase the number of graduates who will choose to practice within rural and underserved communities in Washington. RIDE students graduate from the University of Washington with their DDS degree.

Is RIDE for you?

The Regional Initiatives in Dental Education program will produce additional dentists to serve patients in rural and underserved areas of the Northwest. As the population of the region has grown, the dentist per capita ratio has declined. Many dentists in the region are older than the national average, and retiring dentists are not all being replaced, especially in rural areas. In Washington State, for example, there are federally designated dentist shortage areas throughout the eastern portion of the state, in addition to those elsewhere in the Northwest. Without additional capacity in dental education, these communities will face increasing dentist shortages.

Prospective students interested in RIDE must first apply and be accepted to the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

  • Do you like working in small groups with more direct faculty interaction?
  • Would you enjoy attending classes with medical, dental hygiene and other health professional students?
  • Would you enjoy spending more of your clinical education exposure at dental clinics external to the UW School of Dentistry?
  • Are you interested in the professional and lifestyle opportunities of smaller and rural communities?
  • Are you comfortable with distance learning modalities such as video conferencing, lecture capture, social media and Canvas learning management systems?

What can I do with my degree?

Many opportunities await the graduate of the RIDE program. Private practice, specialization, working in underserved communities and providing care to diverse people in the region.