For Greg Shank, international mission trips have underscored just how much dentistry is about service to others. Recently highlighted as a Student to Watch in dental lifestyle magazine Incisal Edge, he shared details of his work with Managing Editor Brian Dawson.

“Stony Brook has been the perfect place for me,” enthuses Greg Shank of his central Long Island dental school. “It has provided me opportunities to get involved in what I’m passionate about. mainly outreach and organized dentistry.” His outreach really reaches out: This summer Shank. 24, spent a little over three weeks in Madagascar with seven other students and three doctors providing triage care for some 1.000 patients under the auspices of Stony Brook’s Ankizy Fund Dental Mission. As an undergrad at the College of William and Mary, he spent time in Nicaragua in both 2010 and 2011 as well. “In both places you had patients with much more life-death obstacles in their daily routine. such as feeding their families and themselves ,” he observes. “Unfortunately, with these populations. we’re dealing with no access to care. little to no oral-health awareness and a severely cariogenic diet including sugar cane and soda.”

“I think everyone can learn a lot from international travel,” Shank observes. “For dental students, there are plenty of opportunities both at home and abroad to use our unique set of skills to make a difference for those in need.”

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