This week, fourth-year students from the School of Dental Medicine gathered to celebrate their residency placements—known as the Match—for the next year.
Dr. Steven Lepowsky, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, congratulated the graduating class on an outstanding year of residency placements.
“Although this exceptional outcome has become commonplace in our school, it should never be taken for granted,” Lepowsky said. “Our students place in some of the most competitive residency programs nationally and it is a reflection of their hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence.”
“We are proud of what they have accomplished so far and whether this next step takes them to the West Coast, the South, Midwest, mid-Atlantic, North—or whether they remain right here in Connecticut—we know they will represent UConn well,” Lepowsky continued.
Out of the 51 students, 16 will be staying in Connecticut—with six doing their residency at UConn Health. Half of the class placed in general dentistry residency programs, while the other half placed into specialty areas, such as oral surgery, orthodontics, prosthodontics, pediatrics, and endodontics. The students will be practicing across the country—in Oregon, Florida, Oklahoma, Illinois, Vermont, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota, New York, Arizona, Pennsylvania, California, and Alabama to name a few.
“It’s always so exciting to see where our students are, and where they represent UConn,” said Dr. Sarita Arteaga, associate dean for students.
Gabriel Levin, from Avon, made history this year as the first UConn dental student to match into a dental anesthesiology program. Levin will be headed to Jacobi Medical Center in New York City.
“I love the medicine aspect of anesthesiology and being able to treat patients with anxiety that is really prevalent in dentistry. Making patients feel more comfortable is something that I am really looking forward to,” said Levin.
Flaviah Muchemi—also interested in both medicine and dentistry—was drawn to the School of Dental Medicine’s unique M Delta curriculum. Muchemi was born in Nairobi, Kenya and grew up in Connecticut. After graduating from Quinnipiac University, Muchemi worked as an ICU nurse for 3 years before enrolling in dental school. She placed for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Case Western Reserve in Ohio, her top choice.
“This is the best specialty for me with my background as a nurse in the ICU, where I got to see patients in the operating room,” said Muchemi. “Being able to combine dentistry and medicine is what I’m interested in.”
DeCélia Browne grew up in Florida and attended Oakwood University in Alabama. Browne is the only student in her class to head to a Community Health Center in Connecticut after she graduates this year. Browne spent a lot of her time volunteering at Community Health Centers as an undergraduate.
“I grew up in an underserved community, and I have really missed serving and being part of the community—I’m really excited to give back in a different way,” Browne said.
Browne is hoping to practice pediatric dentistry after she gains experience at the Community Health Center.
“I want to get my foot in the door and give back to my community as much as I can,” she continues.
Chris Allen, of Burlington, is a “double Husky”—he completed his undergraduate at UConn in Storrs before attending the UConn School of Dental Medicine. Allen, who will be headed to the University of Alabama for a general practice residency, is looking forward to leaving Connecticut for the first time to explore another part of the country.
“I’m excited to provide general dental care to a population that’s in need and looking to grow and develop my skills so I can be a competent general dentist in the future,” Allen said.
Allen hopes to one day open a private practice as a family dentist and provide care for “everyone that walks through the door.”