As a student in the periodontal specialty program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, I had the good fortune to train under some very important teachers in the world of dentistry. My mentors were teachers who gave freely of their time. Their influence on me was so profound that I decided to give back to others in a similar way.
For over two decades I volunteered my time teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, which receives people from all over the world. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with so many students who in turn help many patients in other parts of the world.
I always told my students that the most personally satisfying aspect of my profession and career is treating patients who for one reason or another became dentally crippled. Without intervention, their lives would have been unhappy to a great degree because they did not have the ability to chew and swallow well. Living with dental infirmity can be very stressful because severe dental problems affect a person’s ability to smile, laugh, or even speak.
My perspective comes from watching dental infirmities occur in my older relatives, an experience that made me very sensitive to the need for quality dental care. As an accomplished periodontist, I have worked with patients with significant dental problems who needed my help to improve their health. My work with these patients has given them many decades of full dental function. This type of complete turnaround has been the most rewarding experience of my career.
As a practitioner, researcher, and teacher, it is very satisfying to know that I have helped many people around the world directly or indirectly—beyond the borders of my dental office or the classroom.
Dr. Karl A. Rose
Chevy Chase, MD