Recent grads hired to teach in clinics
In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, a doctorate in dentistry requires hands-on experience. Texas A&M School of Dentistry operates several clinics around Dallas, giving students the opportunity to put in practice what they’ve learned, while under the supervision of school faculty. Earlier this spring, three recent graduates were hired to rejoin their school as adjunct assistant professors: Drs. Howard He, Jeffrey He and Emily Eggart.
Drs. Howard and Jeffrey He, class of 2016 and 2018 respectively, are brothers. They grew up in Plano, Texas, and both attended Southern Methodist University for their undergrad education. Now they’re both teaching in the comprehensive dentistry clinic, aiding D3 and D4 students with patients and clinical procedures. They heard about the job opportunity in the clinic from a mentor at the school — Dr. Jonathan Clemetson.
“It’s great to have my brother teaching here as well,” Howard said. “Since we both started around the same time, it’s been fun to go through the whole process together and reminisce about our time in dental school.”
Jeffrey added they wanted to open a practice together but had been unable to due to COVID.
“Unfortunately, we don’t teach on the same days, but I’m looking to get our schedules lined up so that we can!” he said. “I look forward to teaching with him, as I’m sure we’ll have a great time.”
As a teacher in the clinic, Jeffrey said his main goal is to boost students’ confidence in their own abilities. He wants them to understand they can trust themselves to put their knowledge to practical use and to see themselves as true dentists and not just students. Howard added that he wants to help his students perfect their craft and really hone their skills. They both take a lot of pride in helping their alma mater teach and train future dentists.
“I don’t know if I’m wise enough myself to give words of wisdom, but if I had to give one piece of advice, it would be to pay it forward,” Jeffrey said. “I’m stealing that phrase from Dr. Clemetson, but he always taught me and my brother that as dentists, we have a certain degree of privilege. As the years go by, I realize that my most cherished experiences as a dentist are when I am able to use that privilege to give back to others.”
Dr. Emily Eggart is a graduate of the class of 2017. She and her family are from Lafyette, Louisiana, “in the heart of Cajun country.” She attended the University of Arkansas for her undergraduate studies and learned about Texas A&M School of Dentistry while part of the pre-dental society there.
“I’ve always been interested in science,” she said. “I liked how dentistry married science and art. I have a few family members who are dentists and specialists, so I grew up shadowing them and learning from them.”
Eggart said she has wanted to teach since her second year in dental school. She still maintains her private practice, but when her schedule allowed, she jumped at the chance to help in the clinics. She now also teaches in the comprehensive dentistry clinic, supervising D3 and D4 students.
As a teacher, Eggart said she hopes to show students that although they’re not going to be perfect, they need to always do their best for their patients. Mistakes can happen sometimes, but you need to learn from them, she said, that is how you become a better clinician.
“I think it’s good; since I’m a recent graduate, I remember what it feels like,” Eggart said. “I kind of empathize with them, and I can give insight to what the real world is like. I just want to give back as much as I can. While I’m teaching, I also learn a little bit from group leaders and professors. It’s a really cool environment, so I feel blessed to be there.”