College of Dental Medicine student Sean Bringhurst (second from right) learns about managing a trauma patient at Trauma ’16 in London.

A student and faculty team from Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Dental Medicine presented a poster at Trauma ’16, the International Conference on Trauma Medicine at Imperial College London Nov. 19-20, 2016.

College of Dental Medicine students Rishaad Taraporewalla and Sean Bringhurst presented under the guidance of Hooman Mir, DPM, MSc, FAPWCA, adjunct assistant professor for the College of Dental Medicine and VirtualU@WesternU. They were the first dental students accepted in the poster abstract competition in the conference’s 11-year history, and they placed in the top 10. Imperial College London consistently ranks among the top medical schools in the world.

“Being able to meet and collaborate with hundreds of fellow health care students from around the world, listening to lectures from renowned surgeons, and taking part in hands-on surgical workshops are just a few of the many experiences that made attending this conference memorable,” Taraporewalla said. “Specifically, having workshops on suturing, placing a chest tube, and performing a tracheostomy on a goat carcass were the wet-lab workshops that allowed us to really get hands-on learning.”

The citation is: Staged Reconstruction of Complex Facial Trauma. Rishaad Taraporewalla, BS; Sean Bringhurst, BS; Hooman Mir, DPM, MSc, FAPWCA; Jeffrey A. Elo, DDS, MS, FACS. Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pomona, Calif.

The poster is based on a surgical case by CDM Professor Jeffrey Elo, DDS, MS, involving a 16-year-old boy who was shot in the face with a shotgun. Dr. Elo reconstructed his face during multiple surgeries for a year and a half.

“We are honored that our poster was accepted for competition,” Mir said. “Having students involved in a trauma conference is going to set out a platform for them to enhance their skills in trauma medicine and surgery as dentists.”


College of Dental Medicine student Rishaad Taraporewalla (center) prepares to demonstrate a tracheostomy procedure at Trauma ’16 in London.

The students went with the support of College of Dental Medicine Dean Steven W. Friedrichsen, DDS, and Associate Dean of Simulation, Immersion, and Digital Learning Robert Hasel, DDS.

Taraporewalla and Bringhurst are part of WesternU’s Learning Enrichment in Clinical Anatomy (LECA) training program, founded by Dr. Mir, which helps prepare students for advanced medical, dental, or health professional graduate-level clinical and surgical anatomy. Being part of WesternU’s LECA team helped them learn about the process of writing an abstract, getting it on a poster, and presenting it to hundreds of fellow students, Taraporewalla said.

“We look forward to continuing our efforts to propel LECA and attending conferences like this again in the future,” he said. “Experiences like the one at Imperial College London are those that we as students will remember for the rest of our careers.”