Over the past few decades, there has been an increased concern of a national dental faculty shortage. The American Dental Education Association published its first report in 1999 outlining this issue and has been tracking the national shortfall since then. Between the 1990s and 2000s, the number of vacant faculty positions increased more than 50 percent.
Many dental professionals are drawn to a career in education. Some of the benefits are obvious: You get to give back to the profession by passing on your knowledge; you gain prestige from your participation in an academic program; and you can depend on a stable (though low!) income. In addition to those, there are other, more unexpected benefits that come with a career in dental education.
My family name translates from Sanskrit to “teacher” – something my dad has always prided himself and has hoped to pass on. He is a Professor of pharmacology and thrives on knowledge. There’s something about passion in delivery that can make or break a student’s learning experience – and for someone like my dad, whose first language is not English, that is a daunting task and incredible feat to overcome.