According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), in 2018, indebted students left dental school with an average amount of $285,000 owed. As the cost to attend dental school continues to rise, many prospective students are looking for opportunities to avoid taking on debt, while still gaining valuable experience. One way is through the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP).
Summer 2016 was a turning point in my dental career. I finished my fifth year in the Army and had one more year to serve on active duty to fulfill my commitment for dental school and my residency program. During dental school, I thought it would be simple to serve my time and leave the military, but as the day of decision approached, it was far from easy.
This year, ASDA focused its efforts on community service and highlighting underserved populations. The first special population we focused on was patients with special needs, which we highlighted over the summer. In addition, we shared posts on ASDA’s Facebook page as well as Mouthing Off. We heard a personal story from an ASDA member with family members who have autism and learned tips on treating patients from an IDD hygienist.
Traditionally, many students graduate after four years of dental school and enter a residency or the civilian workforce. However, there is another group of dental school graduates who will serve in the military following graduation. Many of these graduates were awarded a scholarship from the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).
Last week the buzz around school was all about plans for the three-day weekend coming up. Between pool parties, weekend getaways, and lab work, everyone sounded pretty busy. But this holiday also gives us a chance to express appreciation for our armed forces – and a reason to find out more about our fellow students who serve. The Armed Forces – Army, Navy, and Air Force – have health professions scholarships which include dental school. We spoke with four D2s about their plans to serve as military dentists.