Predoctoral

How studying music prepared me for dental school

“What will you do with a music degree if you’re going to dental school?” “Do dentistry and music even tie together?” These were two of the many questions I would hear every time I told someone I was pursuing an undergraduate degree in music. I studied music because it is one of my passions. However, as I progressed further into the course of study, I realized that music and dentistry may not be so different after all.

Treating patients in prison

According to 2016 data from the World Prison Brief, released by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, the United States has the highest national rate of imprisonment: 655 jailed persons per 100,000 of the national population. Canada and Mexico have rates of 114 and 164, respectively. The United States houses over 2 million inmates in 4,455 facilities that may fall under local, state or federal jurisdiction. Inmates are a huge sector of the American population. They’re a group that may not come to mind when thinking about our country’s most vulnerable populations, yet they face significant barriers to accessing adequate health care.

Building confidence with your patients

In December 2016, a Wisconsin Veterans Affairs medical center made national headlines when nearly 600 patients were exposed to HIV and hepatitis B and C after a dentist reused his own dental instruments instead of performing procedures with hospital-sterilized, disposable tools. This past April saw the publication of “Lion Hearted,” an account of Cecil the lion’s last hours before he was shot and killed by Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist who became an overnight internet pariah following his ill-fated safari in July 2015. These are just two news stories, but each one can impact how the public views our profession and how much our patients trust us.

New year, new you: Make it harder to fail your resolutions

During the holiday season, many look forward to celebrations with friends and family, food, sleep and entertainment. With the anticipation also comes a renewed sense of optimism about the coming year. We want to be fitter, healthier, smarter and more motivated. However, according to a December 2015 article published in the U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by February.

12 days of ASDA

This time of year, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song can be heard in shopping malls, restaurants, TV commercials and pretty much everywhere else. We are all familiar with the “partridge in a pear tree” and those “two turtle doves,” but what about the gifts that an ASDA membership can offer? Here’s an end-of-the-year reminder of all the things you can take advantage now and in the coming year.

Using research to collaboratively address barriers to dental care

You read a restaurant review on Yelp. You survey the menu and ask a friend about their favorite dish. You may even ask the waiter for more information about the ingredients. Who would have thought that going out to dinner would require so much research? Informally, we use research to help us make decisions in our daily lives. Formally, research is used to gather information and discover associations between topics. With an interest in learning more about underserved populations, I used research techniques to explore barriers to oral health for Latinos in eastern North Carolina from the perspective of community health workers.