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Dentistry Today Introduces College Students to UMSOD

Written by Adam Zewe

Forty-seven college students experienced dental school firsthand during Dentistry Today, an annual summer program offered by the School of Dentistry. The students spent three days at UMSOD, touring the school, interacting with students and learning about the future of the dental profession.

Faculty presented information about each dental specialty, explaining the educational requirements and discussing the wide range of career options, from geriatric dentistry to research. Dentistry Today participants also watched UMSOD students utilize cutting-edge technology in the clinics.

Hearing from current dental students was the most intriguing part of the program for Carissa Parent, a student at the University of Southern Maine. "I was really impressed with the passion of the students here. I could see that they loved what they are doing," says Parent, of Bangor, Maine.

For Cyrus Aghdam, of Bowie, Md., learning about the different dental specialties was the highlight of his three days on campus. Aghdam, a rising senior at UM College Park, was especially interested in oral surgery and pediatric dentistry. "I was impressed by how everything is state of the art here. The education is technology based, and that really appeals to me," he remarks.

Baltimore resident Sean Robinson knew more about UMSOD than most other participants -- he graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program in 1996. Robinson plans to apply to the DDS program. He looks forward to establishing even stronger relationships with his patients as a dentist. "I enjoy watching patients grow and change. They become like friends and family," states Robinson.

Dentistry Today, which began in 1975, continues to have an even larger impact on potential dental students. In the last five years, 22 percent of Dentistry Today participants successfully matriculated into the dental program at UMSOD, states Dr. Andrea Morgan, dental recruitment coordinator. "We are helping to make a positive impact on the dental power shortage by increasing the pipeline opportunities here at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry," she remarks.

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