We asked our International Dentist Program (IDP) students to answer a few questions about becoming a dentist, our program at VCU and life in Richmond. Here is what they had to say:
What inspired you to become a dentist?
“Like in many parts of the developing world, where I come from, oral hygiene is often an afterthought. While this is now slowly changing, I saw dentistry as a way to improve quality of life through patient education.”
What made you decide to apply to the IDP at VCU?
“I was looking to join a dental program that emphasizes responsible patient care. When I learned about the IDP program at VCU, applying to VCU was a no-brainer, especially given the reputation VCU has. I am happy to note that VCU has truly lived up to its reputation and my expectations.”
What was your impression of the summer program?
“The summer program is an intense pre-preparatory course; a great segue into the D3 class. It’s a concise accelerated program, which gives an overview of the D1 and D2 years. I think it is mandatory for all IDP students to go through this intense summer course, which helps them to be better prepared for the D3 class. It also helps to bridge the gap between the IDP students and the regular dental students.”
What is your impression of your life in Richmond?
“There are many fun things to do around the Richmond area. Within hours, we have great access to vineyards, beaches and other cultural attractions such as Williamsburg.”
“Richmond is a very quiet city. It has been very easy to move around, people are friendly and seem relaxed all the time. We have found a lot of family activities for the weekends. At the school, everyone is remarkably friendly and very supportive.”
What differences are there between dental school in Richmond and dental school in your native country?
“At VCU, all departments work very independently, and the treatment plan has very strict phases and sequence. The administrative organization is also different. VCU has a structure similar to a private practice, and it is well organized. The patient care coordinator, clinic resource coordinator, instrument management system and front desk all work in coordination. This structure gives patients good service, helps students with their organization, allows the university to protect the budget and makes the service a business.”