Paving the Way for Future Dentists

CDSPI is passionate about giving back to the dental community in many ways. A great example of this is our sponsorship of the University of British Columbia’s Summer Student Practitioner Program (SSPP).


The SSPP matches UBC students going into their fourth year with dentists who mentor them at their practices for up to six weeks during the summer. In addition to our sponsorship, CDSPI provides no-cost malpractice insurance to participating students.


The program, which is approved by the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia, is primarily geared toward dentists in rural areas who often find it difficult to find associates to join their practice.


SSPP is a win-win-win program:


Dentists win

  • They get to know the student, see their clinical competency, and how they interact with patients. If things click, they have a potential associate, and perhaps even a buyer for the practice down the road.
  • Students bring their current learning from UBC, keeping their mentors knowledgeable and current.


Students win 

  • Working under the supervision of the dentist, students can treat patients in all the areas of their clinical competency.
  • They also learn about the day-to-day operation and management of a dental practice.
  • They experience, first hand, the lifestyle and other advantages of living in a rural area.


British Columbia communities win

  • As more dentists are encouraged to practise in non-urban areas, patients have better access to dental care.


UBC has been operating SSPP since 1982, so there are many who have benefitted from the program. This is what some of them have to say:



“Over the years, I’ve had several excellent students—all of whom would have been ideal associates had the needs of the practice warranted.”
— Dr. David Ciriani, Kamloops


“A fantastic program; we have loved all our students. Real-world experience is so beneficial. Every dentist should be doing this!”
— Dr. Gerry Dyck, Williams Lake, BC



“I received good mentorship and was able to perform, assist and watch a variety of procedures. Constructive feedback helped me improve my clinical skills.”
— Michelle Wilczek-Piekarska, DMD 2018


“My SSPP supervisor had a lot of real-world tips that were very useful, including advice about working with different demographics, instruments and materials. He also provided helpful advice in terms of practice building.”
— Amy von der Gonna, DMD 2018


Are you a dentist in a rural area of B.C. looking to participate? Learn more


Malpractice Insurance is underwritten by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.

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