Ok, to let you know who you are actually “talking” with, I will bore you with information about myself.
My name is Richard Foster, but I go by Rick. And of course, I am sure that there are others names that I am called. One of them always seems to be Greg. I can’t even tell you how many times someone actually calls me Greg. I wonder, Do I look like a Greg?
I went to East Carolina University in Greenville, NC a long time ago and earned a BA in Chemistry. And no, you can’t ask me questions about chemistry- it is way too long ago for me to remember anything about it. After graduating ECU, I attended the University of Florida for dental school and graduated in 1985 with a DMD degree. Yes, I know - some of you weren't even born yet.
After dental school, I could not figure out what i wanted to do, so 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 after accepting a position as the Dental Director at Guilford Technical Community College. I’m 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) and Dental Sciences (assisting). As of 2017, I "retired" from teaching General / Oral Pathology to the dental hygiene students. I also cover hygiene clinics and work with the assisting students during the Spring clinic.
I am always asked about being in education verses a private practice. For me, education seems to be what I should be doing. It was a natural progression for me to leave a clinical setting in public health and enter into the educational arena. Gee, I hope I was right.