Future Dentist Aims To Help The Next Generation
“The only thing I did to end up here was put the work in,” confesses Sarah Glenn, a Meharry Medical student with hopes of not only becoming a dentist, but helping the next generation as well.
Glenn gained notoriety when a few websites picked up her picture, found put her goal aspirations and people started calling her #DentistBae because of her incredible beauty. But what many of the sites were getting wrong was that it wasn’t Glenn who wanted the shine, she wanted other students just like her to shine even brighter.
See, Glenn isn’t a native U.S. Citizen and is working towards rectifying that while pursuing her medical dreams. But due to that fact she’s had to pay out of pocket for everything each step of the way.
“I have been blessed with the opportunity to attend Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry located in Nashville, Tennessee,” she says on her GoFundMe account. “I am raising money for my tuition because I cannot get financial support as a Canadian International Student to cover the overwhelming costs of dental school.”
“I was born in Toronto, Canada. This makes me a Canadian citizen on an F-1 Immigrant Student Visa in America. This eliminates my options to receive ANY form of financial assistance.”
But Glenn’s struggle is real and well as the need for more Black dentists around the country and globe.
“We need more Black dentists,” said Dr. Jeanne Sinkford, associate executive director of the American Dental Education Association. “Dental schools are only graduating 300 Black dentists out of 5,000 each year.”
Dr. Sinkford delivered remarks at the Howard University Symposium on United States Health Care April 10.
“There are only 65 dental schools and they are a safety net for communities without access to dental care. Most patients we see in dental schools come from underserved communities but some states don’t have dental schools,” she explained.
“We have to understand the importance of Howard University Dental School and Meharry Dental School. Thirty-one percent of African American dentists come from Howard and Meharry. Black dentists treat 61.8 percent of Black patients, White dentists only treat 10.5 percent, Hispanics treat 9.8 and Asian dentists only treat 11.5 percent.”
The need for more Blacks in health professions has reached critical levels. Four new medical schools opened in 2009 in response to the call for an expanded physician workforce.
But, “of the four new medical schools that opened only four African American students were admitted,” said Dr. Marc Nivet of the Association of American Medical Colleges. “These are urgent issues that we face. We must hold institutions accountable for finding the talent available.”