Nearly 10,500 students applied to attend dental school in the U.S. this fall. Just 16 of those students are Native American, according to the American Dental Education Association.
The Native American pre-dental student gateway program, an initiative between the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and Seneca Nation Health System, aims to reduce the alarming disparity by introducing Native American students to careers in dentistry.
“Simply put, there are not enough Native American students pursuing a career in dentistry, said Joseph Salamon, D.D.S., program director, dental services director for Seneca Nation Health System and clinical instructor in the UB School of Dental Medicine. “The program seeks to encourage and enhance Native American application to dental school through exposure to various aspects of professional dental education, with the goal of diversifying the pre-dental application pool and extending education opportunity to the historically underrepresented Native American community.”
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