Joining the “Great Profession”
When you grow up across the street from a dentist who happens to be your best friend’s dad, you learn a few things about dentistry. For Vincent Debietto, who grew up hanging out in the offices of Dr. Devin Platt, they were all good things.
“Dr. Platt was very enthusiastic about his job,” remembers Vincent, who played football and golf in high school and is an avid reader. “He would tell me, ‘It’s a lot of work, but it’s really a great profession.’ He was in charge of his own schedule, and he was never just sitting at a desk.”
Vincent worked for an oral surgery practice during breaks from college, which confirmed his interest in a dental career. After a post-college gap year that included a medical service trip to Peru, he applied to Penn Dental Medicine – along with 11 other dental schools.
A Community of Professionals
It was raining on the day of his Penn Dental Medicine interview, but Vincent still noticed the beauty of Penn’s campus, and of the Robert Schattner Center in particular. Throughout the building, he saw dental professionals in scrubs, and it was hard to separate students from faculty. “You couldn’t tell them part,” he says. “Everybody was working together, and everybody looked professional.”
The School’s testing schedule, with one exam each week rather than blocks of midterms and finals, also made a positive impression. “It seemed to really facilitate learning, rather than cramming for one big exam,” he says.
Learning “everything about everything”
After two years at Penn Dental Medicine, Vincent has finished his didactic coursework and lab work, and credits the excellent teaching of professors with “answering questions completely and providing a continuous knowledge base.” Last year, he was honored to be chosen as the recipient of the Alpert Scholarship, which rewards outstanding academic performance.
Vincent is ready to start seeing patients in clinic, and also plans to pursue research. He’s gotten involved in dental fraternity Delta Sigma Sigma , which has given him a chance to network with Penn Dental Medicine alumni, and has volunteered with Philly Phaces, which sponsors events for local kids with special needs.
In order to narrow down the postgraduate specialty he plans to pursue, Vincent has also joined student clubs for oral surgery, prosthodontics, and orthodontics, as well as the Implant Society. These organizations provide lectures and information to help students learn more about career possibilities in each field.
“Each of them is appealing in its own way,” says Vincent, who is leaning toward oral surgery but still undecided. “I want to learn everything about everything,” he says. “That’s another reason to choose Penn – it offers a great all-around curriculum.”