A little extra
Organizations help students with specific career goals
Three new organizations have formed on campus, all with a similar goal: to help dental students achieve their ultimate specialty and professional goals. After receiving administrative approvals this summer, student groups dedicated to orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and general dentistry will host their first meetings in early fall.
Third-year dental student Ryan Packard is president of the Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry Orthodontic Student Society, which will have its first meeting Sept. 4. While TAMBCD already has the clinical preparation in place for its students to competitively apply for specialty programs, Packard says the group exists to provide clarity and direction on the process involved with becoming an orthodontist.
Members will learn about orthodontic programs across the country, the details of applying to each school and the credentials of fellow classmates accepted to those schools. There will be a leadership and service component, with a service project every semester, as well as externship opportunities.
Packard and a team of several D3s, D4s and orthodontic residents worked to form the group, which plans to meet monthly, excluding finals months.
“One of the fundamental philosophies of this group is that we want to help students without interfering with academic performance,” Packard says. “We will help paint the big picture.”
Another association, the Dallas Academy of General Dentistry FellowTrack, is dedicated to fostering lifelong education and advocacy through the Academy of General Dentistry. The group will provide continuing education programs that not only supplement TAMBCD’s curriculum but that encourage fellowship status in the academy.
Its first meeting is also scheduled for September, when student officers will be elected, says Dr. Steve Karbowski, chair of the restorative sciences department and the group’s faculty adviser.
The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Student Group is the third organization in the works, headed by fourth-year dental student Lico Castillo as president.— Jenny Fuentes