5 Questions With ... Dr. Elizabeth Shick

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Elizabeth A. Shick, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Associate Professor
University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine

1. What drew you to dental education (or dentistry)?

I was drawn to dental education because of my own love of learning. The teaching and research activities of academia are very different than practicing clinical pediatric dentistry. It allows me to use a different part of my brain and personality that is creative. As a teacher, I am constantly researching and learning new things or re-learning old things. It keeps me engaged in the field and I hope to pass on my love of learning to my students. I also maintain the highest standards of care and ethics in dentistry and hope to serve as a positive role model for dental students.

2. What makes you excited to go to work each day?

I love interacting with dental students as they begin their educational journey. I believe in the positive effect of mentorship. I had amazing faculty mentors when I was a dental student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry. They helped shape who I am as a dentist and how I practice today. I am very grateful to them. It makes me excited that I may possibly do the same for my students.

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

The best career advice I received was after a conflict I had with a colleague early in my academic career. I went to a more senior faculty member for advice and after hearing the story, he told me, “Don’t ever take things personally and don’t show emotion when you respond,” when dealing with conflict. That was a turning point for me, and it really has helped me manage conflict when it arises.

4. What’s your philosophy in 10 words or less?

My philosophy is: Be honest, transparent, ethical and respectful, and treat everyone fairly.

5. If you could be in any movie, what part would you want to play?

If I could be in a movie, it would have to be an action/adventure/travel. For example, I’d love to be Indiana Jones’ research colleague and travel the world on adventures!