|Partnership prepares students for dentistry
by Cindy Abole
For the past 14 years, Wofford College students have gotten the inside
scoop on the rigors of dental school and the resulting rewards of the
profession by participating in an annual open house.
Wofford students are Charlie Yates, Elias Conits, Andrew Bellebaum,
Heather Thompson, Daniel Hall, Natalia Nunez, Tiffany Lovelace and Ben
Eight college sophomores and juniors spent Jan. 20-23 on MUSC’s campus
attending classes and labs, sampling pre-clinical dental instruments
and other equipment, learning about how students set up and manage a
dental practice, and talking to dental students.
Students attended classes in dental practice management, oral
pathology, orthodontics, a dental materials lecture, operative
dentistry and lab, implant prosthodontics, and oral radiographics. They
also met and talked with dental school Dean Jack Sanders, DDS.
Participating Wofford students included Charlie Yates, Elias Conits,
Andrew Bellebaum, Heather Thompson, Daniel Hall, Natalia Nunez, Tiffany
Lovelace and Ben Dunlap.
Of the eight students, many were drawn to dentistry through a relative or mentorship with their own family dentist.
Prospective dental student Andrew Bellebaum was influenced by his
father’s dental profession throughout his life. Donald Bellebaum, DDS,
is a general dentist in Charleston.
“I liked the genuine friendship and interaction he has with his
patients and with others in the community,” Bellebaum said of his
father. “I saw a positiveness in his patient interaction and I was
attracted to that.”
Another Wofford student, Tiffany Lovelace, became more interested in
the sciences and dentistry through the mentorship of her family
“I already have a good bit of exposure to dentistry through my summer
work with my family dentist,” said Lovelace. “After being here for a
week, it’s good to see what dental school is like and learn how senior
dental students prepare to transition to the real world. Many of us are
ready to jump right in and be here.”
Charlie Yates enjoyed the hands-on experience and interaction with
third-year dental students in using pre-clinical dental instruments and
other trimming-and-polishing skills at the Aisic and Riva Hirsch Dental
Simulation Laboratory. Yates, whose father is a physician, loves to
work with his hands but doesn’t like the long hours to which some
medical professionals must commit. So far, Yates loves what dentistry
has to offer him.
The open house program was established in 1995 under a special
partnership with Wofford College’s Department of Biology and Organic
Chemistry and MUSC’s dental schools’ academic and student affairs
office. For years, Tariq Javed, DMD, associate dean for academic and
student affairs, has collaborated with Charlie Bass, Ph.D., in
supporting this long-standing pipeline for talented students seeking
careers in dentistry and dental research.
“We are proud of our long-term dental interim program with Wofford
College, and want to thank Dr. Bass for his excellent leadership and
execution of this program with MUSC’s College of Dental Medicine,” said
Javed. “The program is extremely helpful to students who want to
understand what MUSC has to offer in relation to dental education, the
admissions process and matricu-lation into the College of Dental
Medicine. The students particularly appreciated their meeting with Dean
Sanders and learning about the dental school’s new state-of-the art
clinical facility under construction at MUSC. I also particularly want
to thank Mrs. Cindy Oliver for her work and organization of this
Friday, Feb. 6, 2009