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Grad profile: An entire new world – Dal Information

Grad profile: An entire new world – Dal Information

This text is a part of a collection specializing in the grads of the Dalhousie Class of 2023. Spring Convocation runs from Could 29 to June 7 in Halifax and Truro. Learn all our profiles right here as they’re printed, and for extra info go to the Convocation web site.

Olu Brown’s (DDS’23) first encounter with the School of Dentistry at Dalhousie was as a nervous affected person needing a number of fillings.

The story may have turned out very totally different otherwise, however Brown says that she and her dentistry scholar Wade Energy (DDS’07) labored via the therapies collectively.

“He improved my dental IQ and decreased my dental concern. And I simply fell in love with this place,” she says together with her large smile. That was in 2006.

The beginning of a wonderful – and really lengthy – relationship

On the time, Brown was a psychology scholar at Dalhousie College, making an attempt to determine between changing into a nurse or a psychologist. However her reference to Dal goes again a lot farther.

Grad profile: An entire new world – Dal InformationAs a scholar at Highland Park Junior Excessive, Brown was chosen to attend a week-long math camp for African Nova Scotian children, which gave her the chance to dwell on campus and attend courses.

“It opened my eyes to college and college life,” says Brown. “No one in my household had gone to college and I had no thought there was this world on the market.”

Brown returned to campus in 2001 to take the Transition 12 months Program for African Nova Scotian and Indigenous college students. “The concept is that it helps you bridge the hole between highschool and college,” says Brown. “It was a deep dive into our historical past – who we’re and why, and why training is so vital. It was actually nice for me.”

Practically 4 years later, Brown was reaching the tip of her BSc in psychology when her journey to the Dalhousie Dental Clinic opened her eyes to the world of oral well being. She started to take the conditions for the diploma in dental hygiene program and her software was profitable.

The method might sound simple, however Brown was additionally caring for her younger daughter, born was Brown was 18, and dealing in blood assortment within the Dickson Constructing on the QEII Well being Sciences Centre. “I’d work 6:00 to eight:00 a.m. after which run throughout to class within the Dentistry Constructing at 8:00.”

Brown says she liked dental hygiene and the sensation of belonging to a occupation. However after graduating in 2009 and a 12 months of observe, she got here again to take the lately launched bachelor of dental hygiene (BDH) diploma program. “I wished the diploma – the complete bundle,” she explains.

The BDH program uncovered Brown to outreach clinics in colleges and, most memorably, at Mount Hope Hospital the place she cared for sufferers with psychological illnesses. Brown realized she wished to assist individuals who dwell in long-term care services.

The method of packing and unpacking devices and provides every week and travelling to the hospital gave Brown a stable basis for her cellular dental hygiene enterprise, which she launched in 2011, shortly after the dental hygiene occupation grew to become self-regulating.

Profitable proper out of the gates, she labored with United Approach and travelled between clinics at colleges and totally different particular wants and youth teams. Brown operated her cellular enterprise for 9 years, till COVID-19 introduced it to an finish.

Advisable studying:

Grad profile — Going for targets

Thrilling past what she imagined

By then, nonetheless, Brown was again on the School of Dentistry. The preliminary spark Brown had felt when she first visited the Dalhousie Dental Clinic in 2006 had not gone away. “I liked dental hygiene, however a part of me wasn’t happy. I wished to do extra for my sufferers.” Her mentor and function mannequin, Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch, additionally inspired her.

“I’m formidable,” she admits. “I take pleasure in reaching the not possible and being uncomfortable doing so. Turning into the primary physician in my household and beginning a legacy for them is de facto vital to me.”

Together with her daughter extra impartial, the time felt proper. Brown assembled the credit she wanted for dentistry and continued to function her cellular clinic till she was accepted on her second software.

In 2019 Brown was again at Dal once more as a first-year dentistry scholar. She was already acquainted with hand abilities and affected person care, however the science concerned in dentistry was a complete new world for her. “I used to be blown away by evidence-based medication, the intricacy of the human physique, and the hyperlink between the oral cavity and general well being.”

Working within the outreach clinic on the North Finish Neighborhood Well being Centre was one other spotlight. “A lot of the sufferers have been folks from my house neighborhood,” she says, “together with among the associates I grew up with.”

She additionally remembers the second she delivered her first denture. “It’s so thrilling to have the ability to give a affected person new tooth and a smile,” she says. “After eight or 9 appointments, you’ve constructed a relationship with them and also you’re nervous and comfortable for this second of their life.”

Brown liked the spirit and supportiveness of the category, too. “Once I was in dental hygiene, the world was a special place,” she explains. “I used to be one among two black children in my class. I felt actually remoted.”

Quick ahead almost 20 years and her class is made up of scholars from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds. “I can’t think about a greater group of individuals. I by no means felt I used to be part of one thing as a lot as I do now,” she says.

Now 43, Brown thinks her scholar years have come to an finish. She’ll start working on the Bible Hill Dental Clinic this summer season, and he or she and a few of her classmates plan to create a web site to assist college students from minority backgrounds discover the tutorial info and assets they want.

And, as a result of she loves “this place” a lot, Brown would like to return to Dal — once more — to show.

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