Families of dental students usually only hear about labs, professors, and the challenges of dental school. On Nov. 2 last year, parents, spouses, siblings, and children of first-year students were offered a new perspective at NJDS's Family Day.
Sixty-one freshmen and their families were welcomed by Dean Robert Saporito, Dr. Zia Shey ('73), associate dean for Student Affairs and Graduate Dental Education, and Jake Shapiro, the husband of dental student Michele Bergen-Shapiro ('98). Mr. Shapiro, a stockbroker, assured families that dental school becomes easier in the junior and senior years. "Then he basically told jokes for three minutes," says his wife. "Jake had everyone laughing, especially when he showed his dental knowledge by drawing a class 3 malocclusion and identifying the lingual nerve."
After a buffet brunch, family members toured stations staffed by faculty and upperclassmen. Dr. Kristine Mosier was at the imaging station, where head, neck, and oral cavity images were displayed. Using family volunteers, Dr. Martin Giniger demonstrated how intraoral video cameras work. Dr. Blaise Curcio ('66) presided over tours of the pre-clinic laboratory, and students led visitors through the gross anatomy lab.
"It was a wonderful opportunity for families to see where their loved ones spend between 10 and 15 hours a day," says Susan Lomanto, principal management assistant for the Office of Student Affairs and Graduate Dental Education. About 225 freshmen, family members, faculty, staff, and upperclassmen attended Family Day.
The idea for Family Day began with Alumni Association President Joseph Battaglia ('79), who had learned of a similar event at the University of Alabama. From there, a planning committee composed of Dean Saporito, Dr. Battaglia, Dr. Shey, Dr. Paul Desjardins, associate dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Cecile Feldman, associate dean for Planning and Assessment, and Ms. Lomanto laid the day's groundwork. A larger group of additional faculty and staff, class officers, and upperclassmen were involved with the final program.
When he lectured at the Third Annual Polish Dental Convention in Poland last September, Dr. Peter Kudyba went back to his roots.
Dr. Kudyba was invited to speak in his parents' homeland by Dr. Anthony Volpe ('60), vice president of clinical dental research at Colgate-Palmolive Company. The professor of prosthetics gave an hour-long presentation on reshaping abutment teeth before partial denture construction. A Polish prosthodontist translated some of the technical material, but for about half the lecture, Dr. Kudyba gave his presentation in Polish.
"My parents, who grew up in a small village in Poland, spoke Polish at home," says Dr. Kudyba, "so I have a good command of the language. My slides were in Polish, and I spoke in my audience's language as much as I could. I think we were received very warmly, in part because of that."
Dr. Kudyba was met in Poland by Eva Bober, an NJDS dental lab technician and native of Poland. Her lecture, given completely in Polish, was about an injection technique for processing of dentures.
All in all, Dr. Kudyba, a former NJDS Alumni Association president, says his second international lecture was a success. "We were a little concerned about low attendance because we were scheduled in late afternoon and an hour before a special awards program," he says. "But as it turned out, about 125 people attended, and we had a good question-and-answer period."
The convention was held in Lodz, Poland.
Name University State Program/Activity
Ali, Nooreen University of Illinois-Chicago IL GPR
Bassil, Marwan New Jersey Dental School NJ AEGD
Benarroch, Moshe Newark Beth Israel Medical Center NJ GPR
Bergen-Shapiro, Michele New Jersey Dental School NJ OMFS
Fay, Sherrill L. Jersey City Medical Center NJ GPR
Fergusson, Ninoska VA New Jersey Health Care System NJ GPR
Fine, Howard I. Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center NY GPR
Galiano, James Jersey City Medical Center NJ GPR
Ghali, MaryAnn Hackensack Medical Center NJ GPR
Goldschein, Howard Staten Island University Hospital NY GPR
Goujani, Banafsheh St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center NJ GPR
Johnson, Alesia J. Ohio State University OH AEGD
Lake, Kevin J. Dade County Dental Research Clinic FL AEGD
Laski, Robert New Jersey Dental School NJ OMFS Fellowship
Lerner, Roger Robert Wood Johnson NJ GPR University Hospital
Lobato, Gabrielle VA Medical Center- Manhattan NY GPR
Lohse, Jennifer E. Medical College of Georgia GA PERIO
McTaggart, Robert T. Hackensack Medical Center NJ GPR
Menendez, Elena University of Miami-Jackson FL GPR Memorial Hospital
Moheb, Tina New Jersey Dental School NJ GPR
Morgan, Rudolf University of Washington WA PROSTHO
Motwani, Amit C. Staten Island University Hospital NY GPR
Noroozi, Marjan John F. Kennedy Medical Center NJ GPR
Nosti, John R. Peninsula Hospital Center NY GPR
O'Bosky, Francis J. Mountainside Hospital NJ GPR
Ouimette, Christopher Mountainside Hospital NJ GPR
Padovan-La Grasta, Nicole Hackensack Medical Center NJ GPR
Parkin, Ruth E. New Jersey Dental School NJ PERIO
Pizzi, Daniel C. Jersey Shore Medical Center NJ GPR
Polevoy, Vladislav Staten Island University Hospital NY GPR
Posner, William N. VA New Jersey Health Care System NJ GPR
Refai, Yasser Robert Wood Johnson NJ GPR University Hospital
Reverendo, Deolinda Newark Beth Israel Medical Center NJ GPR
Rizvi, Saba M. Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center NY GPR
Rodriguez, Ernest VA New Jersey Health Care System NJ GPR
Rothenberg, Craig A. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center NJ GPR
Rutner, Torin W. New Jersey Dental School NJ OMFS
Sanzo, Michele New Jersey Dental School NJ PEDO
Savalia, Nash New Jersey Dental School NJ GPR
Schmidt, George J., Jr. New Jersey Dental School NJ PERIO
Shore, Joseph T. New Jersey Dental School NJ ENDO
Vandenberg, Michael P. Muhlenberg Hospital Center NJ GPR
Editor's Note: This issue, Student Government President George Schmidt ('98) describes what a typical day at NJDS is like for him.
8:00 a.m.: Coffee in one hand and papers in another, I stumble into class after fighting traffic on Route 280. Today I have noteservice, so I really must pay attention and take notes. Fortunately, this is a clinical therapeutics lecture, and, as usual, Dr. Paul Desjardins is both interesting and informative. (If you haven't yet heard him, take his continuing education courseyou'll enjoy it.) After this, just one more lecture and it's off to the races!
9:50 a.m.: I run out of class and head for the elevator to D Level to start my day. On the way I see Dr. Ahmed Khocht from Perio, and he gives his usual soft-spoken hellothe students love him! I also have the privilege of sharing the elevator with two of the school's group practice administrators, Dr. Ival McDermott and Dr. Fotinos Panagakos ('93), who always keep their students busy.
10:00 a.m.: Another clinic session. I will attempt to do a DO amalgam on number 30. Normally this would be easy, but...well, you'll see. The session starts off relatively uneventful and typical. I wait in line for 10 or 15 minutes to get my supplies, fighting off and joking with my classmates. All the supplies, as you might remember, are heaped in your arms at one time (sort of like Army boot camp, except that is less stressful!). I struggle to carry the supplies to my unit and set up. I check to see if my assigned instructor, Dr. Andrew Brafman ('76), is here. Whew! He is, as usual. Switching faculty is still not smiled upon.
My patient, Mr. Henry, arrives about 20 minutes late. All the while I worry if I will have another clinic session go down the drain! I finally seat him and run over to the instructor to get a start. I give Mr. Henry a block, get my supplies ready, and then try to negotiate and get an assistant. No diceI'll work solo again. This takes close to 10 minutes of haggling, but when I return, the patient says he is not feeling numb. Great! Up again across the clinic floor to the dispensary, fill out a slip so I can get another carpule of anesthesia, off to the doc for his autograph, back to the dispensary to pick up the carpule, and back to my chairI give the block again. Fortunately, Mr. Henry shows signs of numbness after about 5 minutes.
Next, my favoritethe rubber dam! My patient really enjoys this, also! After wrestling several minutes with the rubber monster, I'm finally ready to work. One problem: Upon firing my handpiece, a burst of oil comes out all over the place and the darn thing just will not work. "Excuse me, Mr. Henry, I'll be right back," I say, and it's off to the window to get a new handpiece. A short wait at the window and I'm back to work. Finally, I get my prep cut and go to find Dr. Brafman, who is very busy. After several minor adjustments, I am ready to fill. Hallelujah! I apply the DBA, place the amalgam, take off the dam, and I'm done. Wrong! I still have to have the restoration checked, fill out the chart and the paperwork, give Mr. Henry his next appointment, collect the money (we all know who pays if Mr. Henry doesn't), visit the cashier, and stand on line to settle the bill. As a bonus, I get to clean the instruments and the unit, and return all my goodies to the window.
1:00 p.m.: Today, I'm fortunate. I'll get 30 minutes to eat, so I run off to the new Burger King that's built into the cafe for some gourmet chopped sirloinugh! I'm sick of it already!
1:30 p.m.: I realize it's not a bad dream as I run back from the cafeteria to check my instruments and see what's ahead. This afternoon I am going to border mold a denture I have been working on. I know, I know. You're really laughing now. So it's back to the window again...
George Schmidt ('98), NJDS Student Government President
by Jim Delahanty, D.M.D. ('75)
As the Cessna 152 settles onto the runway of Essex County Airport in Fairfield, N.J., another flight lesson ends for dental student Michele Bergen-Shapiro ('98). "I love flying, and I can't wait to get my license," she says.
Ms. Bergen-Shapiro started training last year at the Caldwell Flight Academy because of her husband's interest in learning how to fly. "Jake felt that having a pilot's license and a personal airplane would give us flexibility, especially going different places when we have vacation time together."
It sounded like a great idea to the senior dental student. Her only concern was her husband's sense of directionor lack thereof. "You know, the one about guys and asking directions,"she says. "We talked about it, and Jake's answer was to have me learn to fly along with him."
Initially, Ms. Bergen-Shapiro says, her parents, both dentists, "thought we were nuts." Dr. Stephen Bergen is chief of dental services at the Manhattan branch of the Veterans Administration, and Dr. Juliet Bergen is in private practice in West Orange, N.J. "My father has slowly begun to express an interest in my pilot training. Who knows, as my dad realizes how safe flying is and the world of opportunity a pilot's license gives you, maybe I'll get him to take his first lesson," she says.
Before taking her flight test, Ms. Bergen-Shapiro will receive a minimum of 40 hours of training. She'll also take a 50-question multiple choice test administered by the Federal Aviation Administration covering such subjects as weather, aerodynamics, airplane systems, flight planning, and federal aviation regulations. From there, she'll take a flight test with an FAA-designated examiner. Ms. Bergen-Shapiro is on her way to making these goals: On Jan. 10, she made her first solo flight.
When asked about the aviation adage, "...flying is the second-greatest thrill...landing is the first," Ms. Bergen-Shapiro says, "I don't know about that. I think fitting a crown with Dr. Nicholas and getting an 'A' is the first."