Laredo youth learn about dental careers
On Wednesday, Nov. 8, faculty, staff and students of the Dental School hosted more than 20 high school juniors from the John B. Alexander Magnet Health and Science High School of Laredo. The Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the Dental School sponsored the event.
Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa, Health Science Center president, welcomed the students and commended their dedication to learning more about the health professions.
Dr. Victor Sandoval, associate dean for student affairs in the Dental School, said the purpose of the event was to provide the students with firsthand knowledge of the dental profession, the Dental School and the overall admission process.
"We hope they gain an appreciation for the scope of a dental curriculum, the time involved, and the range of skills necessary to practice contemporary oral health," said Dr. Sandoval.
The Laredo students heard a series of informative presentations, went on a tour of the Dental School and were treated to lunch.
Dr. Tom Marshall, associate professor of restorative dentistry, presented the students with a short slide show on placing tooth-colored fillings. Fourth-year dental students Elham Abbassi, Ashley Alanmanou, Cliff Bailey, Sara Bender, Armita Bushong, Van Cammack, Carolyn Cassels, Peggy Chang, Tom Conner, Jason Daaboul, Howard Hunt, Teshana Murray and Ivette Serna gave hands-on demonstrations to the high school students, and guided each student in placing a tooth-colored filling in a resin tooth.
"They learned something about the field of dentistry and enjoyed the one-on-one interaction with our students," said Dr. Marshall. "As they think about what they’ll do with their lives, restorative dentistry is another option that is wide open to them. My hope is that they will find out more about it and hopefully become some of our future dental students," he said.
Michael Wirsching, a junior at John B. Alexander Magnet Health and Science High School, said the event was helpful and informative.
"This day inspired me to look into scholarships," he said. "Also, Dr. Cigarroa is a good role model."