5 Questions With ... Dr. Caroline Carrico

Caroline Carrico
Caroline K. Carrico, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry
Department of Dental Public Health and Policy
Oral Health Services Research Core
VCU Philips Institute for Oral Health Research

Affiliate Associate Professor
Department of Biostatistics, VCU School of Medicine

1.  What’s the best career advice you ever received?

I thought I wanted to be a high school math teacher and in my first semester of field experience, I was telling the supervising teacher that I was adding a second major (statistics) and that I would be able to do research consulting in the summers. He asked me why I was adding a major for a summer job. Not exactly advice, but that simple question made me realize I was way more interested in research and statistics and that it better suited my skills. I drove back to campus and changed my major.

2.  What’s the biggest challenge facing dental education today?

I think faculty recruitment and retention are becoming more and more challenging. Especially with the debt students are facing when they graduate, careers in dental education may become impractical for many.

3.  What’s a major development in your field that’s flying under the radar?

I think with the focus on evidence-based dentistry, clinicians are becoming more knowledgeable and comfortable with statistics. This is a major development and I love watching it happen. It is strengthening the field of dental research and will help improve patient care.

4.  What’s something you think you’ll never understand?

I will never understand politics. There’s just so much at play behind every decision. The more I learn, the less I want to know!

5. What skill or talent would you most like to develop?

Confidence. I’m definitely more of an introvert and I usually avoid being in the spotlight.