Endodontics graduate program update June 2019
Greetings from the VCU Endodontic Residency Program!
The residents are thriving, the literature reviews are ongoing and life is busy if you have been an endodontic resident over this past year.
Since I last had the opportunity to write we have seen six more months fly by with many highlights to update you about. Looking back as far as November of 2018, the endodontic department once again provided support for the VCU pre-doc trip to Jamaica to provide dental treatment to the Jamaican people.
Second year resident Dr. Adam Sarnowski, first year resident Dr. Erik Foisy and I journeyed together to Jamaica where we provided endodontic treatment to 12 patients along with helping with additional extractions and restorative work during our week-long stay. Following these types of international volunteer dental trips, one can’t help but have a renewed appreciation for just what we have in the United States.
The following month, while many faculty, students and residents were enjoying the December holiday break, we actually had two of our residents travel to Israel to spend a week volunteering their time and expertise at a children’s dental clinic.
Second year residents Dr. Lena Holz and Dr. Adam Polinsky were accompanied by one of our VCU part time endodontic faculty Dr. Daniel Bartling on what each of them stated was a very rewarding and amazing experience. Following the holiday break life settled back into a normal routine for us all. In February, the residents and I attended the College of Diplomates Board Review Course down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I also had the opportunity to speak on dental trauma and root resorption to this audience.
Second year research projects came to closure this spring (to the relief of Adam S., Adam P., Lena and Khalifa) and it was another successful year in this regard. Dr. Sarnowski’s research poster was named the top resident poster presentation at this year’s VCU Research Day and Dr. Polinsky’s poster presentation was acknowledged as a top 10 poster at AAE19 in Montreal. In our opinion, all four of this year’s residents had award-quality studies! Immediately following AAE19 all four residents successfully defended their thesis projects and had their papers accepted into the VCU Scholar Compass library.
Along with travels and meetings all of our residents kept busy in the graduate clinic seeing patients, they helped out teaching in the D2 endodontic pre-clinical skills course and spent a fair share of time in didactic studies of their own. We had residents participate in the first MOM project held at the VCU dental school as well as helping with a continuing education course for general practitioners at VCU sponsored by Dentsply Sirona. But interspersed amongst all of the resident work were department activities geared at some relaxation time together under the direction of our department chair, Dr. Spatafore. It is hard to believe that we will once again be graduating four more residents from this program.
The departure of four residents can only mean one thing – that we will have four new residents entering our program on July 1. We will have a diverse group coming in with a distinctive western U.S. flavor. Let me briefly introduce these four individuals –
Benjamin Brown will be coming to us from the San Diego area as he completes his military obligation with the U.S. Navy. He is a graduate of the UNLV Dental School and was actually a classmate of our first-year resident Erik Foisy.
Jeremy Hargrove will be coming to us from Arizona where he has been in private practice for the past two years. He is a graduate of Midwestern University Dental School in Glendale, Arizona.
Inderpal Sappal will also be traveling from the San Diego area to join our program as he finishes a GPR program there after graduating from the Pacific University Dental School a year ago.
And finally, from Kuwait, Lolya Alyahya,
will enter the program after completing a one-year endodontic internship at VCU. She is a graduate of the Kuwait University Dental School.
As this residency year comes to a close, it once again allows me to pause and reflect on the opportunity I have been given to run and oversee this graduate program. I truly enjoy training and developing future practitioners of our specialty of endodontics. I couldn’t do it without the support of my fellow faculty members along with the many alumni who have provided me with encouragement and friendship as I travel down this path.
Thank you all and I truly look forward to seeing each of you in the future!