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Incoming Dental Students Receive Orientation

They're back! The first incoming students for the 2013-2014 academic year are at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD). Interim Dean Mark Reynolds, DDS, PhD, MA, told the assembled first-year students, "Dentistry is pre-eminent among health care occupations. It is the envy of all." But he warned students they would be "held to a high level of accountability with regard to practice standards."

University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, asked the students to take to heart two of his priorities: interprofessional teamwork and civility. "I need you to see yourself as part of the overall health care team," he said. "What dentists do is relevant to the entirety of health care."

Civility, he explained, is more than about being nice. It's about being effective. "We're here to promote safe care," he told them. "When people are uncivil to each other in their practice of medicine or their practice of dentistry, it creates an unsafe environment."

The incoming class of 130 students hails from 18 states, and includes many students with advanced degrees and previous professional health care experience, said Karen Faraone, DDS, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Faraone reminded them that classes start on Monday, August 19th, and that they need to be prepared for a demanding professional school environment. "There is nothing in the dental school that's difficult," she told them. "The difficult part is the volume. It's going to start Monday and it's going to come fast and furious."

Undaunted by the prospect of long hours and grueling courses, students described their mood as excited. Shiva Soleimani, a graduate of nearby University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), says she was most impressed by the School's Dream Room, where students experience the future of dentistry and cutting-edge technology. The crown milling machine "creates a whole crown, usually in the time it takes a dentist to make impressions."

Alyssa Flashburg of Elon University in North Carolina, agreed, adding that superior technology was an important reason for her choice of dental program. "When I went to other schools, I kept comparing it to Maryland. Maryland was really forward-thinking in its technology approach."

Among the incoming students with prior health care experience was Christopher Gregoire. A graduate of Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Gregoire says he has worked and assisted in endodontics for 3 1/2 years. In June, he enlisted in the Navy's Health Professionals Scholarship Program. The program pays tuition and expenses at the School of Dentistry in return for a four-year service obligation. For now, however, the only thing on his mind is jumping into dental school with both feet. "I'm really excited to get going," he says. "I'm finally going to learn some things I can actually use in my career."

On Thursday, incoming students are fitted for their iconic white lab coats, which they will receive at a ceremony in September.
Posting Date: 08/07/2013
Contact Name: Alex Likowski
Contact Phone: 410-706-3801
Contact Email: alikowski@umaryland.edu