The University of Maine at Presque Isle's BioMedical Club is hosting two events in March especially for people interested in careers in dentistry. Both events are open to the public.
On Friday, March 2, at 1 p.m. in Pullen Hall 111, the BioMedical Club will host a Dentistry Simulation presented by Dr. David Burtt, from the University of New England's College of Dental Medicine. The simulation will give participants a hands-on opportunity to explore a career in dentistry.
A week later, on Friday, March 9 at 12 p.m. in the UMPI Library 2nd floor conference room, the club will host a talk by Judy Feinstein, Director of the Maine CDC Oral Health Program, on dental careers and available scholarships and loans. The presentation will provide participants with the inside scoop on the pathway to a rewarding career in dentistry. Participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch to this event.
"Several students at UMPI are very interested in pursuing a career in dentistry," Dr. Rachael Hannah, co-advisor of the BioMedical Club, said. "These two outreach events provide students the opportunity to investigate what a career in dentistry is all about. UNE's dentistry simulation allows them hands on investigation, and having two different speakers visit UMPI creates the opportunity for students to hear different perspectives from people that already have careers in dentistry and oral health. Since UNE has a new school for dentistry, this provides students a great opportunity to expand their career options within the state of Maine."
Because these events may have a broader interest from the community, the club decided to make them open to the public. The March 2 Dentistry Simulation provides an experiential learning opportunity for students and community members. Dr. Burtt will bring to campus a mobile dental simulator, which has all of the instruments found at a dentist's chair. The unit includes a mannequin head and torso, the head of which includes a full set of teeth on which the participants will work. Dr. Burtt will demonstrate the process of drilling and filling, and then allow participants to practice the process in pairs, one as the dentist, and the other as the assistant.
This "oral health careers education outreach initiative" is focused on giving Maine high school and college students a hands-on experience with dentistry in order to assist with career path decisions. The program, which has been presented at other schools around Maine, has been well received. Dr. Burt said that many of those who participated expressed that they had not considered a career in oral health until trying out the Dental Simulation.
The March 9 presentation by Feinstein will cover dental careers, available programs, information about state and federal scholarships and loan programs, and an update on the new College of Dental Medicine at the University of New England. Feinstein will be joined by local dentist Dr. Mike Blandon, who will discuss the dental school application process.
Feinstein is the Director of the Maine CDC Oral Health Program, within the Department of Health and Human Services. Her responsibilities include overall program management, grant-writing and administration. She has served as the project director for federal grants intended to support oral health workforce improvement activities, and early intervention and prevention of dental disease, among others. From 1980 to 1985, before joining state government, she lived in Presque Isle and directed a shared educational service for hospitals in Aroostook County – Northern Maine RAISE – which provided continuing education and training opportunities for healthcare personnel.
Ms. Feinstein has a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Beloit College in Wisconsin.
"These events should be fun and informative opportunities for anyone interested in dentistry," Stephanie Corriveau, President of the BioMedical Club, said. "Both speakers will help increase event participants' awareness of what a career in dentistry is like and how to prepare to pursue a career in this field."