3 Qs: Carole Hanes

DCG Associate Dean Carole Hanes for over 30 years has been one of the most visible – and friendly – faces on campus. She is pivotally involved in the life of every dental student, from admission through graduation. She also pores through almost a thousand applications every year, conducting exhaustive research and interviews to identify the best candidates for a dental education.

1. What quality do you seek above all others in dental school applicants?

The short answer is honesty. But three other characteristics are critically important: a good work ethic, resilience and compassion. During interviews with applicants, we try to ask the right questions and offer hypothetical situations to help ensure a good fit. I believe we do a good job, because we have amazing students.

2. How has dentistry changed most significantly during your career?

The technological changes have been huge. Advances such as microscopic endodontics, implant dentistry, digital radiography – these things have really transformed what we’re able to offer our patients. But the way dentistry is practiced has changed substantially as well. It’s gone from being a one-on-one cottage industry to multiple models for how dentistry is delivered, including corporate careers and group practices. We’re also seeing more emphasis on areas such as esthetic dentistry.

3. Can you cite a single experience at DCG that best exemplifies why you love your job?

There are hundreds, but one comes to mind almost immediately: After graduation one year, a student came up and said, “Dr. Hanes, I need you to hear this.” He played back the phone message I’d left offering him a spot in the dental class four years earlier. He said, “I’d listen to it on the tough days, and it’s really kept me going.” That means a lot. When [dental students] leave, I feel like I’m sending them out into the world with a tiny bit of me in each of them. They’re amazingly bright and caring people. That’s why I enjoy doing it every day.

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