Erica Ribenboim ’16 brushes up on experience through dental center internship
Erica Ribenboim ’16 is one of many Centre College students earning college credit towards her degree while giving her potential career a test drive. She is participating in an internship program with Dr. Bridgette Coulter at the Gentle Dental Center of Danville, located only a short five-minute walk away from campus.
“I chose this internship for a few different reasons,” Ribenboim explains. “I wanted to see the day-to-day workings of a dental office, see what types of procedures they do and just get a good idea of what the job entailed.
“This internship was also perfect for getting the number of shadowing hours required for dental school,” she adds.
Ribenboim is participating in Centre’s two-credit internship, an option for reduced hours offered for the first time this year. For a total of seven hours, three days a week, Ribenboim shadows Dr. Coulter, helps the dental assistants with various tasks, and assists with patient preparations.
Ribenboim is learning about many different dental procedures, including crown preparations and replacements, filling restorations, implants, tooth extractions, cosmetic procedures, radiographic interpretations and disease diagnoses.
Although she has not studied each procedure to the depth that would be covered in dental schools, Centre has equipped her with knowledge that has proven helpful during the internship.
“The science classes I have taken at Centre have prepared me the most for this experience,” she says. “In particular, Human Anatomy and Physiology, as well as Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology have been the most applicable so far.”
The Center for Career & Professional Development helped Ribenboim connect with other pre-dental students who had already completed internships. These connections helped her arrange the internship she has now, and they have been valuable resources for career advice.
An internship or research opportunity is one of the three main tiers of the Centre Commitment. Not only do internships help students stand out as applicants for the workforce or graduate studies but they also help students build a network and gain confidence in the workplace.
“This internship has played a large role in my career decisions for the future and I am hoping it will help me reach these goals,” Ribenboim says.
By Anne Wilson ’15