A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) celebrated its class of 2021 with commencement ceremonies Friday, May 7.
Two ceremonies were held in order to maintain social distancing for the 72 doctor of dental medicine graduates and their families and friends. Additionally, 15 members of the class also received master of public health degrees.
ATSU-ASDOH Dean Robert Trombly, DDS, JD, reflected on the class of 2021, and urged members to seize opportunities to improve the lives of others.
“Caring, compassionate people, who over the last four years have learned the art of healing. That’s who we are. ASDOH is the heart of the profession. You are the face of ASDOH. You are the heart of the profession,” Dr. Trombly said. “Whenever you have the chance, make the choice to help make someone’s life a little bit better. You might be able to do that in your practice with your patients, with your dental team. It may be the opportunities in the community, people you interact with every day. It might be in your home with your friends, your family, your loved ones. But make the choice, every time you have it, to make someone’s life better, through healing, through educating, by improving our healthcare system.”
Teresa A. Dolan, DDS, MPH, served as commencement speaker. Dr. Dolan, vice president and chief clinical officer at Dentsply Sirona, noted the importance of public health and responsibilities of new doctors to make improvements in healthcare.
She challenged the class of 2021 to take steps to overcome healthcare inequities.
“Health disparities isn’t a new concept, but COVID has provided the opportunity to look at this issue in a new light and maybe double down on our commitment to address disparities, so that all individuals have the opportunity for a healthy and productive life, including a life with good oral health,” Dr. Dolan said.
After graduates recited the “Oath to the Profession,” ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, sent class of 2021 members on their way with a statement of confidence in their abilities.
“It is important to remember your education allows you to provide high quality care, taking care of individuals, families, cities, and communities,” Dr. Phelps said. “No one is better prepared than you. No one can do it better than you.”