Bulletin of Dental Education

Dental Student Bridging Oral Health Care Gap

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Monique TriceNearly every county in Alabama suffers from unmet oral health needs, but an emerging dental student is planning to make a difference by bridging gaps and taking on the “dental desert” in her community.

Meet Monique Trice. Heading into her third year at University of Louisville School of Dentistry, she said her plans are to return home to Enterprise, AL, with a deeper understanding of the hurdles of access that her community confronts. 

Ms. Trice, 24, says she already has envisioned her dental studio in Enterprise. Her path between Enterprise and Louisville has been paved with training, exposure and opportunity—all fortified by a preparatory program known as the AAMC/ADEA Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (AAMC/ADEA SMDEP). The AAMC/ADEA SMDEP, a free, six-week academic enrichment program, is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges and ADEA. Offering tuition, housing and meals at 12 university sites across the country, SMDEP equips college freshman and sophomores from underrepresented populations to pursue careers in medicine or dentistry. 

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