Dean Sarrett and Lyubov Slacheva
Dean Sarrett and Lyubov Slacheva

The dental profession continues to develop in new ways that allow us to better serve the oral health needs of the public. Dentists in clinical practice best know their patients’ needs, yet may not typically have the means by which to be the pioneers of novel advances. Acknowledging this, organizations like the Pierre Fauchard Academy and others champion research and scholarly endeavors of licensed dentists.

As a dental student who had considered pursuing a dual clinical-research degree, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage in research that responds to pressing oral health needs. Opportunities like the AD Williams Trust Fund encourage students to engage in a wide variety of research, from basic science to clinical practice to population health, while still pursuing rigorous training in the theory of dental practice and mastery of technical clinic skills. Organizations like the International Association of Student Clinicians (SCADA)-ADA validate the strong network of developing dental healthcare professionals who are committed to contributing to the profession’s progress through scientific inquiry and will ensure that the future impetus of the profession’s evidence-based advancement remains quality care provision to the public.

It has been an honor to represent VCU School of Dentistry with one of my AD Williams Grant projects at the AADR Annual Meeting, our school’s Clinic & Research Day poster presentation, the Pierre Fauchard Academy Virginia Chapter gathering, and the DENTSPLY/ADA Student Clinician Research Program. My gratitude for these opportunities is extended to Dr. Todd Kitten—my PI and mentor, the School of Dentistry Philips Institute and its immensely helpful staff, and my predoctoral dental faculty and mentors who have tolerated and even celebrated these endeavors. My hope is that such opportunities continue to exist through which dental students are able to fully appreciate their integral role as future clinicians in dental research and improvement of the profession.

Lyubov Slashcheva D3

Categories Research