For the last 7 years, my presentation, Tongue-Tied: A Story NOT Silenced by Oral Cancer was put into the dental school curriculum by oral pathologist Maria Fornatora, D.M.D, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry. For one hour, I’m given the chance to inspire, motivate and impact the way dental students will provide services to their future patients.
I’m not sure how common it is to receive a standing ovation from students who were probably preoccupied with taking an exam on X-ray machines the following hour, but these 2nd year dental students weren’t shy in showing their appreciation for what I endured and my work to raise awareness. Most lecturers don’t end a talk with their own Oral Cancer Save-A-Life Rap. I was honored by the students’ response to my talk and I hope that they remember my story each and every time a patient comes in for a dental check up so what happened to me never happens to any of their patients.
After the talk, several students crowded around me to ask questions like, ‘Did insurance pay for your treatment?’ ‘Did you ever see your oral surgeon again?’ But, when two students asked if I speak at every dental school in the country, I asked her why she thought I should. This conversation ensued.
What do you think about the many subjects of our conversation?