Hands-on Summer Program Targets Future Dentists

06/22/01    Portland, Ore.

Dental Careers Institute gives people of all ages a chance to check out dental careers

Twenty-one-year-old Carmel Dudley didn't realize that job shadowing her dentist and orthodontist when she was in middle school would lead her to seriously consider a dental career.

"It was just something I did on the day you were supposed to shadow somebody in their job," said Dudley, a Whitman College senior from Lake Oswego.

Vatrayia Bates of Portland, has been exploring different health career paths at Roosevelt High School. An internship at a St. Johns dental office steered her in the direction of dentistry.

"I want my career to be in dentistry because I like to be with people," said Bates, 16, who will be a senior next year.

Bates and Dudley will be two of the 64 students who will take part in Oregon Health & Science University's School of Dentistry's 35th Annual Dental Career Institute June 24 - 28. The students come from all over Oregon, eight traveled from other states and one from Canada.

For five days, they will attend classes on dental anatomy, maxillofacial surgery, oral pathology, dental hygiene, public health dentistry and other hands-on activities. The students will work closely with faculty members and dental school students. They also will have some fun. Videos and pizza dinners are planned in the evenings.

The goal of the Dental Careers Institute is to give interested students an opportunity to examine careers in dentistry. During its 34 years the institute has helped more than 2,000 people make informed decisions about their futures. It also has helped participants increase their awareness about the role dentistry plays in their communities.