Rural Dentistry Scholars Program
Mentoring, Networking and Community Engagement
Building the Rural Dental Team - Naty Lopez, PhD, MEd
The Rural Dentistry Scholars Program, funded by the Health Resources and Services Adminstration Grant No. D85HP28496, placed 36 second- and third-year School of Dentistry dental and dental therapy students with rural dentists in different counties accross Minnesota in an effort to provide mentoring, interprofessional collaboration with public health nurses, medical residents, and other health providers and to gain first-hand knowledge of the oral health disparities in rural areas.
The goal of the program is for these students to return to rural areas after graduation.
Student reflections on mentors
"My mentor showed me how he participated in the community to show that he was there for them and not just to be the dentist."
Rural dentists as mentors
"When you teach someone, it keeps you constantly evaluating what you are doing, and why, and if there is a better way."
"I helped the nurses do fluoride varnish. I was able to teach them a better strategy - the knee to knee lap. Hopefully, they will be able to continue the practice and make it easier for the nurse and their patients." - Dental student