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ATSU-MOSDOH’s rural, urban locations offer opportunities to gain experience, student says

For A.T. Still University-Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) student Hana Jeong, D2, the chance to experience something new and witness the challenges of access to oral healthcare services in a rural setting made ATSU-MOSDOH an intriguing option for her dental education. 

“I selected ATSU-MOSDOH due to its distinctive approach to dental education, which involves two years of didactic learning in a rural setting followed by two years in an urban area,” Jeong said. “This structure appealed to me because it offered a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the disparities in oral healthcare access in rural areas. Experiencing these challenges fueled my determination to pursue dentistry with a focus on addressing such barriers. Additionally, the idea of completing my final two years of dental school in my hometown was an added bonus, further solidifying my decision to choose MOSDOH.”

Originally from St. Louis, Jeong earned her physiology degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, reading, watching Netflix, and going on light runs around Kirksville.

At ATSU-MOSDOH, Jeong plays intramural sports and is a member of the American Student Dental Association and a student ambassador. 

“I love being able to play badminton and pickleball with fellow classmates and fellow ATSU students, because it is the best way to de-stress from the schoolwork. There’s something special about the friendly rivalry and banter that comes with playing sports with classmates. We also get to bond and build friendships outside of the classroom. It’s moments like these that make the whole experience at ATSU feel more like a tight-knit community rather than just a school,” Jeong said.

“My favorite thing about being a part of ATSU is the tight-knit community formed among my peers and faculty. Throughout these past two years, I have developed wonderful relationships with my classmates and professors that I know will continue even after dental school. Whether it’s engaging in a friendly game of badminton with professors or unwinding with the entire class post-exam, it’s the simple moments like these that I will reminisce and look back on many years after graduation.”

As a student ambassador, Jeong gets to provide the same kind of invaluable guidance she received during her application process to future dental students.

“(The student ambassadors I met) provided me with resources and support that made a significant difference in my journey. Knowing firsthand how stressful and overwhelming the application process can be, I felt compelled to share my experiences, advice, and support other pre-dental students in their own endeavors,” Jeong said. “Serving as a student ambassador has allowed me to meet prospective students from various backgrounds. Each interaction has been meaningful, as I’ve had the opportunity to hear their unique stories and perspectives. It is truly so rewarding to receive an email from a prospective student about their acceptance to our school.”

Ultimately, Jeong seeks to be a dentist who delivers top quality care to her patients.

“I have a strong passion for addressing the oral healthcare needs of immigrant families, echoing the challenges my own family once faced. ATSU-MOSDOH plays a pivotal role in shaping me for this mission by actively promoting initiatives to dismantle barriers to oral care. Through the community outreach programs and volunteer work, ATSU fosters a culture of service and advocacy, aligning perfectly with my aspirations,” she said. “I am confident that the rigorous clinical training, immersive hands-on experiences, and exposure to diverse cases during my four years will equip me to excel as a provider.”


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