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Hurt Earns Oscar Nomination

Hurt Earns Oscar NominationRecent Tufts University School of Dental Medicine graduates Rajia Sebbahi and Megan Lucier are gaining valuable experience in general practice dentistry, while at the same time providing a community with better access to dental care.

Boston [02.03.06] To recent Tufts School of Dental Medicine graduates Dr. Rajia Sebbahi and Dr. Megan Lucier, giving back to the community just seems like the right thing to do. According to a recent article in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the pair’s commitment to public health has helped them become the first students to take part in a unique residency program at Family Health Center in Worcester, Mass.

“I wanted to do public-health dentistry,” Lucier told the Telegram & Gazette about her decision to enroll in the one-year general practice residency in dentistry program, which is based at the center and offered through the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s family medicine and community health department.

Sebbahi and Lucier, who both graduated from Tufts in June, were the first dentists to join the program, which is part of the broader “Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative,” an effort to expand access to dental care for people living in the area.

The goal of the program is “to train new doctors in a health care setting where they treat underserved populations and to teach the integration of medicine and dentistry,” Oral Health Initiative leader Dr. John P. Gusha said, according to the newspaper.

Both Lucier and Sebbahi are eager for the opportunity.

“I wanted to be more well-rounded in everything,” Lucier told the Telegram & Gazette. “Every walk-in comes in with a lot of complications: They come in for one tooth, but six other things are going on.”

Sebbahi echoed Lucier’s excitement.

“You have to be exposed to everything,” Sebbahi, who has been accepted into a post-doctoral orthodontics program next year, told the Telegram & Gazette. “I see a lot of severe, not just aesthetic, needs to be taken care of.”

According to the newspaper, while based at Family Health residents like Lucier and Sebbahi gain broad experience by working in community dentist and orthodontist offices and at a state Department of Mental Retardation facility. They also spend time in UMass Memorial Medical Center’s family medicine and anesthesia departments, working in operating rooms and emergency rooms.

For Lucier, the experience is preparation for the future. She told the Telegram & Gazette that she hopes to partner with her husband, who is a pediatric dentist, and open a practice in Southern Maine, where dentists and public health resources are not abundant.

Sebbahi sees working with an underserved population in her future too.

“I would like to provide care for these people,” Sebbahi told the newspaper. “I wouldn’t mind volunteering in a place like this.”



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