Interprofessional Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment is Key
Tamara Doege felt hope slipping away after three years of debilitating facial pain. The pain had become acute following brain surgeries to address a bone malformation.
But after the surgeries, the once active and outgoing mother of three spent weeks in the hospital enduring follow-up procedures and later at home missing precious family functions and much of her youngest child’s high school years.
Lorena Vasquez learned in her high school science classes that the best solutions typically emerge from a strong hypothesis, followed by rigorous experiments. So when she began searching for the ideal college major, she arranged to meet with and shadow a physician’s assistant, a teacher, a dentist, a dental assistant and finally a dental hygienist.
“I am an outgoing person. Dental hygiene was most appealing because you get to spend time with people one on one,” she said. “Your role is prevention and education, and most of the people we see are healthy.”
One of the first calls Dr. Lauren Hubbard made before moving to Minnesota from Chicago earlier this year was to the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. She knew that, no matter where she and her husband chose to live and work in the Twin Cities, she wanted to teach dental students part time at the U of M.
“I like the honesty and the ethics in the academic environment,” she said. “I love the focus on doing what is right for the patient no matter what. This work keeps me happy. It is a priority.”
Al Imhoff’s four-unit bridge prosthetic is celebrating its 50th birthday this month. He had his bridge installed in 1969 at the University of Minnesota Dental Clinic in the old Owre Hall on the east bank of the Twin Cities campus.
Everaid Fokim is one of six students in the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry’s dual degree dental hygiene/dental therapy program who received a generous scholarship from the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation.
“The scholarship will significantly reduce my debt at graduation,” said Fokim. “The financial piece was always the biggest deterrent for me. This relieves a lot of stress and enables me to focus on school rather than how to pay for school.”
Dr. Ernest Martin III has worked as a part-time faculty member for the School of Dentistry for more than 30 years while maintaining his own private practice.
“I always look forward to my time in clinic each week,” said Martin, who works with students in the dental clinic. “When I was working full time, it was a refreshing way to break up the week. The students are smart, receptive, engaging and fun. And they have certainly made me a better dentist.”
This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2019 edition of Dentistry Magazine
Naomi Rhode is in her element. She's in front of an audience, traversing the stage and engaging with the crowd as if they were all old friends. She tells stories punctuated with; humor and imagery and personal connection, and delivers what she calls “deep content wrapped in heart.” See her in action and you’ll understand why this dental hygienist-turned professional speaker, practice management consultant, businesswoman, and life and speaking coach has been so successful.
Amber Irby arrived in Minnesota from her hometown of Williamsburg, Virginia, two years ago to enter the unique dental therapy program at the University of Minnesota. Today, she plans to stay.
Fourth-year DDS student Gretchen Kletscher grew up living on the Mississippi River in Brainerd, Minnesota. Today she’s eager to return to a lifestyle where she knows her neighbors and has access to great fishing and the other outdoor activities she loves.
The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry is leading an effort to create a universal tool that can be used internationally to measure patients’ perceived oral health quality. The tool, which will eventually take the form of a patient questionnaire, will one day generate the data needed by providers and researchers to more precisely measure the impact of treatment choices on patient populations.