Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What's the latest news regarding the Health Education Campus (HEC)?
A: As of now, Cleveland Clinic continues to maintain Samson Pavilion as a potential overflow space for patients in the event of a future spike in COVID-19 cases. While the spring’s anticipated surge did not materialize (thanks in large measure to Ohio’s stay-at-home order), concerns about a ‘second wave’ of infections have led the Clinic to keep the existing set-up at this time.

We do not yet have a firm idea of when the HEC might return to full use as an academic setting, but can say it is unlikely to happen before mid-August, and could extend for several more months. As a result, facilities and other university staff are working to identify and prepare alternative classroom options on campus within our former buildings.

Meanwhile, university leaders have engaged with Clinic counterparts to arrange for our students’ access to simulation spaces as long as Samson holds no patients. Those conversations have been productive, and facilities and UTech staff now are working on getting necessary technology in place. We also expect faculty to be able to access their offices this summer, also as long as no patients are present.

Q: What do I tell a patient if they contact me for an emergency appointment?
A: All patients (including emergency patients) are requested to contact the school at 216.368.3200.  We do have a limited number of scheduling staff available to triage calls and reschedule patients.  We have also identified, with the support of the Chairs, domain experts who then call these patients. If deemed a true emergency, we have established protocols in place to address their needs. Additionally, some specialty programs have received support from their faculty who have graciously offered to see urgent care patients in their private offices (and patients are responsible for those fees).

Q: What alternatives are being considered by CWRU to address curriculum requirements for D4 students in particular?
A: During the coming weeks, there are several rounds of discussions scheduled by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) that will result in greater clarity and guidelines. Each institution will have to adapt to those guidelines, to fit their school. Our institution, with three different buildings under our purview, will have to consider our options to assist all of our students, including D4s.  All schools are faced with these unique circumstances and are constantly sharing resources with each other so no one is left behind.

Q: My residency has started putting together call schedules, days off, etc. and I'm not sure how to respond. Will my colleagues and I be starting our residencies on time?
A: There is not yet a definitive date for graduation/completion. We suggest this is the answer you give your program. We anticipate they will be understanding as this is an issue facing all "Class of 2020" students nationwide. For additional questions/concerns (or for verification of information), please refer your program director to Kristin A Williams, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, at

Q: How does CWRU plan to address typodont competencies?
A: While some testing involving typodonts and virtual assessments are being discussed on the national stage, we (along with other dental schools) are not in position to provide guidance until the broader guidelines are available.

Q: What will happen to my belongings left in the HEC's main building as the building is repurposed as a surge hospital?
A: Your belongings will be kept secure in your locker.

Q: I’m eager to get back to campus and back to the clinic, can I return now?
A: No. Please stay where you are and follow all applicable state and federal guidance.

Q: When will the dental clinics reopen?
A: Dental Clinics are currently limited to emergency and urgent care services for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Advanced Education in General Dentistry services only. These services are being provided exclusively by residents and faculty of these departments. For more information, call 216.368.3200.

Q: Who decides when the dental clinics will reopen?
A: We continue to follow all state, federal and CDC guidelines regarding dental procedures. We are also in constant contact with the Ohio State Dental Board, the Commission on Dental Accreditation and numerous other dental schools regarding potential paths forward. 

Q: The university recently announced a new role for the HEC’s main building in the fight to treat COVID-19. Will our dental clinics be used in the same manner?
A: Not at this time, but circumstances continue to change rapidly. The university will provide updates as necessary.

Q: Who will provide guidance on preclinical and clinical curriculum requirements?
A: The Commission on Dental Accreditation has been working with the U.S. Department of Education so they can provide dental schools guidance on preclinical and clinical curriculum requirements.  We are also regularly in touch with the Ohio State Dental Board and the Ohio Department of Health.

Q: I’m a dental student. How will the closure of the dental clinics impact my ability to complete pre-clinical course work, clinical experiences and competencies?
A: Like every other dental school across the country, we do not yet have these answers. But we will work to provide updates as soon as information becomes available.

Q: Are other dental schools also dealing with clinic closures?
A: Yes. The issue of closed clinics is not unique to CWRU. Every other dental school in America is experiencing the same thing.  

Q: I’m a dental student feeling anxious about online learning, who should I talk to?
A: Please contact Kristin A Williams, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, at or David Rolf, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at