Biochemistry & molecular biology major Valeria Garcia Lopez ‘19 is spending her spring semester shadowing Centre College alumnus Dr. Corky Deaton ’81 at Deaton Family Dentistry.
In addition to working under Deaton, Lopez is learning more about aseptic techniques and the administrative factors required to make a dental office run smoothly, such as patient insurance and appointment schedules.
Although Lopez acknowledges the usefulness of the technical skills learned in her internship, she says that the most valuable part of her work is understanding the importance of trust in a patient-dentist relationship.
“Some of the people that come in have been patients here since Dr. Deaton’s father opened up the practice. While many people don’t think there’s a strong bond between patient and dentist, you’d be surprised how much you can learn about a person in a short amount of time,” Lopez says.
“I’m also developing an understanding of what normal days at a dental practice look like, which I think is very important when someone is trying to determine a career path,” she adds.
Deaton Family Dentistry has a history of helping Centre students gain professional experience. Lopez learned about her internship through another pre-dental student, Taylor-Walker Smith ’18, who previously interned at the office.
Lopez’ internship has inspired her to continue to pursue a career in dentistry. She plans to spend this summer shadowing a pediatric dentist and applying to dental schools.
By Carbery Campbell ’19
April 5, 2018