UB launches pipeline program to increase diversity in dentistry – UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff – University at Buffalo Reporter

To increase enrollment of underrepresented students, the School of Dental Medicine has launched Destination Dental School, an initiative that aims to remove barriers to careers in dentistry for students of color.

Destination Dental School is open nationwide to all underrepresented undergraduate students interested in a career in dentistry, and will provide participants with hands-on simulation activities and research projects, access to mentorship from UB dental students and faculty, dental school application assistance, and networking opportunities with local dentistry leaders.

The free program, which will run on Saturdays from June 4 through July 31, will also sponsor eligible participating students for their Dental Admission Test — a standardized exam required for entry into dental school.

Destination Dental School is accepting applications. Students are encouraged to apply online by Feb. 28.

The program was conceived by UB dental student and Buffalo native Arian Johnson, who encountered difficulties applying to dental school.

“I realized there was a lack of resources for students like myself. As an undergraduate student, I had some advisement but I needed more guidance. I didn’t know the right classes to take, my timeline was off, I didn’t take the right test prep, and my professors wouldn’t give me a recommendation,” says Johnson, now a fourth-year dental student.

Latino, African American and Native American people make up around 5%, 4% and 1% of dentists, respectively, despite representing a larger percentage of the U.S. population, according to the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute.

Pipeline programs have proven to be an effective solution, increasing enrollment