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Donald Chi


Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy in based on three central principles:

  • Enthusiasm. I have a passion for science. I love teaching public health because it is a discipline that touches all of our lives. My goal is to convey why public health is significant and how public health principles are relevant to dental practice.
  • Evidence. My teachings are evidence-based and reflect the importance of objectively assessing studies from the scientific literature. I use examples from everyday life to illustrate scientific principles.My goal is to demonstrate the role evidence can have in helping us make sound decisions in public health and clinical dentistry.
  • Empowerment. I am an advocate for scientific literacy as a means to empowerment. I encourage students to think broadly about the clinical, policy, and public health relevance of course assignments. My goal is to empower students to become life-long learners, which I expect will help them to make decisions that optimize patient and population health outcomes.


Dental Public Health Sciences (DPHS) 510, Autumn Quarter

DPHS 510 is a required public health course part of the UW School of Dentistry core curriculum. It is taken by all first-year dental students in the first quarter of dental school. DPHS 510 is a problem-based learning (PBL) course consisting of traditional lectures and small groups. The lectures introduce students to core principles in dental public health sciences and provide an evidence-based framework for understanding and solving public health problems in dentistry. Each small group is given a video case demonstrating how oral health disparities manifest within a vulnerable population (e.g., Medicaid-enrolled children, migrant farm worker families, seniors). Students work with faculty facilitators in small groups to study the case and to generate an evidence-based solution. At the end of the quarter, each small group presents their solution to the rest of the class. I have been Course Director for five years (2010 to 2014).

DPHS 510 Syllabus (PDF)

Pediatric Dentistry (PD) 667, Spring Quarter

PD 667 is a mandatory part of the pediatric dentistry resident curriculum and is taken by 13 pediatric dentistry residents. PD 667 is a seminar-based course. The course provides pediatric dentistry residents with an advocacy-focused framework for identifying and addressing public health problems in pediatric dentistry. In addition to attending weekly seminars, residents are expected to submit a term paper that describes a specific public health problem and outlines plausible evidence-based solutions.

PD667 Syllabus (PDF)