Welcome to the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. It is a pleasure for me to welcome the DDS Class of 2015 and IDS Class of 2014 as you embark on a promising and invigorating career as an oral healthcare provider.
This is an exciting time to be an oral health care professional. Educators, researchers, practitioners, and our legislators are confronting significant issues that impact the oral health and health care of the U.S. population. Access to care, disparities in oral health and health care, changing demographics, racial and ethnic diversity in the profession, the needs of disadvantaged populations, and keeping up with new technologies are major challenges we face. As students at Pacific you will gain awareness of these critical issues. In your senior year you will rotate through extramural clinics that will supplement your clinical training and enhance your ability to develop sound doctor-patient relationships. You will provide care to the chronically ill at Laguna Honda Hospital, to the geriatric population at San Mateo Medical Center, to the homeless through Project Homeless Connect, in addition to providing general dentistry at La Clinica, On Lok, and Sonrisas clinics. You will learn that as an oral health care provider you can have a positive impact on the oral health of patients and that you can help shape the communities in which you live and practice.
You will be mentored and guided along the way by an experienced, dedicated faculty. Course directors, row instructors, advisors, clinical faculty, Group Practice Leaders and mentors are all committed to assisting you to become the best and most up-to-date professional you can be. They will treat you as a colleague but will challenge you to engage fully in the educational program and to manage your learning. The Pacific faculty embodies the student-centered, humanistic approach to education that makes Pacific unique among U.S. dental schools.
You are entering the profession at an exciting and unique time. I wish you the best as you begin your career in this dynamic profession.
Patrick J. Ferrillo, Jr., DDS
Dean, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry