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Partnership prepares students for dentistry

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations
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.
Participating Wofford students are Charlie Yates, Elias Conits, Andrew Bellebaum, Heather Thompson, Daniel Hall, Natalia Nunez, Tiffany Lovelace and Ben Dunlap.

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 dentist.
“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 successful program.”


Friday, Feb. 6, 2009

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