Nicole Krois, Doctor of Dental Surgery student
Improves dental education
• Hometown: West Des Moines, Iowa
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Leonardo Marchini, Associate Professor, Preventive & Community Dentistry
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), June 2020
• Please describe your research: Clinical training is central to dental education, enabling students to learn the necessary skills to practice dentistry in the real world. We are validating a standardized survey that can provide a deeper understanding of the clinical training of dental students. Dental schools around the nation can utilize the information produced from the survey to address any shortcomings and reinforce the positives of their dental clinical training programs, thus preparing even better dentists.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? Oral diseases are the most common noncommunicable diseases in the world, with tooth decay affecting over half of the world population, resulting in pain and reduced well-being. Dentists are trained to diagnose and treat oral disease, as well as promote oral health and prevent future disease. We are improving clinical training in order to produce the best, well-trained dentists that will combat and prevent oral disease.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I began doing research during my sophomore undergrad year and I have able to continue with research throughout dental school.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? I have greatly improved my skills in critical thinking which has been very helpful for my professional life. Likewise, I have been able to meet and collaborate with people all over the world, allowing me to network and develop my communication skills. Overall, I feel well-rounded because I had the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Iowa.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? Immediately after graduating, I plan to practice as a general dentist. I have a Master’s degree in education as well, so I hope one day to return as an adjunct or clinical assistant professor at a dental college, thus being able to tie my two passions together, education and dentistry.
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