Ok, to let you know who you are actually ďtalkingĒ with, I will bore you with information about me.
My name is Richard Foster. I go by Rick, but am sure that there are others names that I am called. One of them always seems to be Greg. I canít even tell you how many times someone actually calls me Greg. I wonder. Do I look like a Greg?
Anyway, I have a Chemistry degree from East Carolina University (no you canít ask me questions about chemistry- it is way too long ago for me to remember anything...). I attended the University of Florida for dental school and graduated in 1985 with a DMD
degree. Yes, I know. Some of you were not even born yet.
After dental school, I worked in a community health center providing dental care to those that could not afford it. I really enjoyed working in this setting because it allowed me to help those that truly needed it, while also allowing me to see and do things that I will never forget. Another great thing about working in this position was that it was a salaried position.† I knew exactly how much money I would be getting each month. I had student loans to pay off ($850 each month for 10 years - thank you very much) and I really liked to know how much money I would have left to actually live off of.
I started teaching part-time somewhere in 1988
and went full-time into education in 1991.† I moved to North Carolina in 1994 as the result of becoming the dental director at Guilford Technical Community College. Iím not sure as to what my job really is, but I oversee the running of the dental assisting and dental hygiene programs and provide classroom instruction in Orofacial Anatomy (assisting / hygiene), Dental Sciences (assisting) and General / Oral Pathology (hygiene). I also cover hygiene clinics and work with the assisting students during the Spring clinic.
As for being in an educational setting vs. private practice one, for me, education seems to be what I should be doing.† It was a natural progression to leave the clinical setting of public health dentistry and into the educational arena. Gee, I hope I was right.