Skip to content
A.T. Still University
Prospective Students
Current Students

iConnect News
ATSU Headlines
Arizona Campus Missouri Campus ASDOH ASHS KCOM SOMA Awards Community Health Centers Graduations Grants

Student Headlines AZ Student Affairs MO Student Affairs ATSU Portal Login

Alumni Headlines Classnotes In Memoriam Continuing Education

Faculty & Staff
Faculty/Staff Headlines Research & Publications ATSU Portal Login

iConnect Newsletter Grants & You Newsletter Athletic Training Alumni Newsletter Still Partner Newsletter Still- Well Being Newsletter Healthy Investments ATSU Research
A.T. Still Library Newsletter
Still Magazine
Current Issue
Past Issues
Donor Recognition
Hot Sheet
In Memoriam
The Last Word
Web Exclusives
President’s Desk
Research News
Spark magazine 2017-18
Spark magazine 2019-20
Winter 2020
Supplement 2019
Fall 2019
Spring 2019
Summer 2019
Winter 2019
Supplement 2018
Fall 2018
Summer 2018
Spring 2018
Winter 2018
Supplement 2017
Fall 2017
Summer 2017
Spring 2017
Winter 2017
Museum of Osteopathic Medicine

iConnect News

Rural route dentist

October 29, 2018
Posted In: Profiles

According to her classmates, Emily Nieto, DMD, ’14, MPH, ’13, didn’t just say she was going to work in rural communities — she went out and did it.

Dr. Nieto’s first experience with dentistry came as a dental assistant at a private practice in high school. The experience left a lasting impression on her.

“One patient cried after her two front teeth were fixed,” she recalls.

Before coming to ATSU-ASDOH, Dr. Nieto pursued her undergraduate degree in religious studies and worked as a community organizer in Chicago.

“I found I was being called to more direct service than my degree in religious studies allowed,” says Dr. Nieto.

Having a background in community service and social change gave her the head start she needed to apply to dental school. Dr. Nieto knew she wanted to go into community dental work, rather than private practice. She was drawn to ATSU-ASDOH’s dual degree option so she would be able to receive her MPH degree alongside her DMD degree.

Her rotations in Bethel, Alaska; rural South Dakota; Nogales, Arizona; and Silver City, New Mexico, served as her “advanced training.” In South Dakota, Dr. Nieto traveled around in a recreational vehicle to provide dental services to the community.

Following graduation, Dr. Nieto dedicated three years to working in a community health center in Clovis, New Mexico. When that contract ended, she moved to a reservation near Tohatchi, New Mexico. Today, she is one of eight dentists for 40,000 residents on the reservation.

At her satellite clinic outside Gallup, New Mexico, Dr. Nieto is the only dentist for at least 26 miles. She works alongside a number of expanded-function dental assistants because of limited dental resources in the area. Since New Mexico has no dental schools, the need for dental care is high, and the ability to recruit new practitioners is low.

Dr. Nieto’s former classmate Scott Howell, DMD, MPH, ’14, knew she would become a phenomenal general dentist who would bring health to rural families and communities.

“When we were students, Dr. Nieto was one of the few people I could point to and say, ‘She’s going to do it,’” Dr. Howell says. “She’s going to go out there and be the model ATSU-ASDOH graduate.”

Comments are closed.

« »