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Dedmon Establishes A Pre-Dental Internship Program At USC Upstate

10- 23- 2006

Spartanburg, S.C. – Dr. David Dedmon, a dentist who has been practicing in Spartanburg for the past 25 years, has an unwavering support of higher education and a commitment to help others the way he has been helped along the way. He established David B. Dedmon Scholarship Endowment in 2003 at the University of South Carolina Upstate which benefits full-time, junior level students who are enrolled in a pre-professional health science curriculum. Additionally he serves as a mentor to the Health Professionals Club.

Dedmon is now working with Dr. Jeannie Chapman, an assistant professor of biology and faculty advisor for the Health Professionals Club at USC Upstate, to establish a pre-dental internship program, the first of its kind in the state that will allow pre-dental majors to shadow local dentists to gain a first-hand perspective of the profession.
“I would like to help at least one person per year to attend USC Upstate who would not have otherwise been able to do so through scholarships or other vehicles,” said Dedmon, who has already recruited 15 dental colleagues to participate in the program. “My interest in supporting higher education is unwavering and this is my opportunity to reach back to help others the way I have been helped along the way.”

The pre-dental internship program will allow students interested in pursuing a career in dentistry to shadow an area dentist where they will observe all facets of dentistry from patient interactions, to routine and emergency procedures, to record keeping and insurance billing.

“The intent is to expose the students to as much as possible about the field of dentistry and to get a sense of what it is like to run a small business,” said Dedmon. “In addition to observing in a clinical setting, the students will experience how to interact with patients, how to manage a staff, how to create treatments plans and so much more.”

In addition, students will gain knowledge about what is expected of dental professionals, both from their patients and from the community at large. Academic credit will also be earned by the students. To participate in the program, students must be at least a junior.

“This is such an advantage for our students because this program will allow them to establish an early contact with a dental professional, who can later provide a letter of reference for dental school admission and/or act as a mentor once the student completes dental school,” said Chapman.

Omar Figueroa, a pre-dental major at USC Upstate, has already benefited from Dedmon’s generosity. For the past year, Figueroa has spent five hours a week observing in Dedmon’s Pine Street office.

“Dr. Dedmon has really been a huge help to me,” said Figueroa, who also works weekends as a certified medical interpreter at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. “He has answered so many of my questions about the application process for dental school. I’ve also had the opportunity to talk with his patients and his staff. Communication is key in dentistry because you have to put many patients at ease and calm their anxiety.”

Dedmon is very complimentary of Figueroa, saying “Oman understands the procedures well after I have explained them to him. He is a very caring and giving individual and will be an asset to the dental community and the overall community in which he decides to live and work.”

Dr. Dedmon is a native of Spartanburg and has practiced dentistry in Spartanburg for 25 years. He is a graduate of Wofford College and the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He serves on the Carolina Piedmont Foundation Board. Dr. Dedmon has served as president of the Medical University of South Carolina Dental Alumni Association, where he is an adjunct clinical professor in the MUSC School of Dental Medicine. He has held district and state offices for the Lions Club and was also instrumental in establishing the Middle Tyger Presbyterian Church.