Students celebrated the milestone of Match Day last month at RSDM’s annual ceremony, reflecting back on the lessons of dental school and looking forward to the future.
“I want to be the best I can be,” said student John Bender, who will be doing a three-year prosthodontics residency at Nova Southeastern University.
Dean Cecile Feldman congratulated the students, noting that RSDM’s match rate for students seeking a match was 87 percent, compared to the national match rate of 64 percent. “That’s an incredible accomplishment,” she said. “It speaks to the eagerness that exists for you to be taken into these programs. I know that dental school was tough, but it’s been worth it.”
Bender, and his friend and classmate Matt Boller, agreed, saying they were grateful for RSDM’s rigorous clinical standards, which require more than many other schools.
“They’ve done about three crowns and I’ve done 19,” said Boller, the son of a hairdresser and tool and dye maker who is proud to be the first generation from his family to attend college.
Bender said he’d rather deal with high expectations than have faculty go easy on him. “When you’re in the real world, you want to be prepared,” he said. “You don’t want people who babied you instead.”
Although dental school could be exhausting, it confirmed his decision to enter the field. “Because of every day in clinic, I wake up fulfilled. It helps me get out of bed in the morning.”
Also celebrating was Onoyom Onyile, who will be starting a residency in RSDM’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry in the fall. As a former teacher, he has experience working with special needs children. Onyile completed his undergraduate education at Rutgers New Brunswick and also earned his masters at RU. “I trust a Rutgers education,” he said.
Of the Class of 2020’s 119 members, 52 sought matches. After graduation, 56 RSDM students will head to residencies or practices in New Jersey or New York. A handful of others will go to states that are further away, such as Texas and Oklahoma. General Practice Residencies were the most popular option, with 48 students planning to begin a GPR in the fall, while entering private practice was the second most popular choice. Thirty-six students are planning to do that.