Some students are lucky if they can work part time or full time at their co-op once it is finished, but biology major Victor Fiore is planning on spending all three co-ops, as well as the time in between, as a dental intern at Gilbert Dental Care, a bit of a change up for someone who originally wanted to be a pediatric doctor.
“When I was younger, I always read about some form of medicine, whether it was working with children or doing neurosurgery,” the pre-junior said. “I just knew I wanted to be in that kind of environment and the only co-op that was in a medical environment was Gilbert’s Dental Care.”
Fiore applied for his first co-op for the fall-winter 2011 cycle through the Steinbright Career Development Center, or SCDCOnline. Fiore was offered the Gilbert Dental Care position in the A-round and picked it over other offers he received— including one from the Philadelphia Water Department—because it was the only non-research co-op position.
“I didn't want to be a code monkey, if you will,” he said.
Instead, Fiore gets to do “pretty much everything” there is for a co-op to do in the office, including sterilizing, stocking the rooms, filing, fixing technology problem issues and patient care, and more. He even had “homework assignments” to practice drawing teeth to become more familiar with the anatomy of teeth.
“It started the first day at the office. They really threw you right in—you became an intricate member the moment you walked through the door. So for the first day, with no prior training, I was in the office assisting,” he said.
The work has paid off. After completing his first co-op, Fiore continued to work part-time in the months between his second co-op, where he also worked at the office. Currently working part-time at Gilbert Dental Care after his second co-op, Fiore plans on staying through for his third co-op.
"The job is already set in stone,” he said.
Fiore’s family transferred over to Gilbert Dental Care, where Fiore receives discounted dental work. He’s also interacted with some of the office’s celebrity clients.
"You never know who you're going to meet or what's going to happen,” he said.
It seems like the uniform black scrubs and white lab coat embroidered with his name and the name of the office were a good investment, as are the comfy shoes Fiore wears while working, he said.
"Since you're running around on your feet all day long, obviously it's important to wear the comfiest shoes you can find,” he said.
Fiore plans on taking the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), which is very much like MCATs for dental schools before applying to a school. According to Fiore, it’s harder to get into dental school than medical school just because there are fewer in the country. Indeed, in Philadelphia, where Fiore grew up and hopes to go to dental school, the only universities that have a dental school are Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania.
But for now, he’s content to stay a Drexel dragon dentist.