Schulich Dentistry enters the 21st century ready to rock and roll. The decade starts in high gear and doesn’t slow down, with major achievements and milestones around every corner. Read about the people, new programs and world events from this lively decade in our history.
A momentous decade
Dr. Benjamin Pliska, DDS’05
From the late-night Halo sessions, class trips to Toronto and Montreal for student conferences, to 11:00 p.m. basketball games with the “Air Dents”, to meeting his wife, Roxana Saldarriaga, the four years in dental school were some of the best years of Dr. Benjamin Pliska’s life.
The first week of school was marked by attacks of 9/11. “This led to a great amount of discussion during the next four years, as initial shock and patriotic enthusiasm for intervention in the Middle East, gave way to the grim realities of war,” said Dr. Pliska, DDS’05.
Meanwhile he and his classmates learned how to overcome the challenges of becoming dentists. They dealt with procedures, learned about patient management, and how to study for 14 exams in 10 days. Through it, they developed a strong camaraderie and became a close-knit group.
They all excelled in their learning thanks to outstanding faculty members such as Dr. Tom Daley. His immense knowledge of a complex topic, humble and straightforward approach together with the fact that he learned every student’s name before the first day of class, earned the respect of his students.
Dr. Veronica Lee, DDS’07
Studying dentistry is a family affair for the Lees, as is attending Western University. So when Veronica Lee, DDS’07, was considering dental school, it was an easy decision. Her father had graduated from Western in 1974 – a school he loved, and Veronica had heard about its reputation for great clinical skills development for most of her life.
Dr. Lee’s experience mirrored that of her father’s. “I loved the whole dental school experience,” said Dr. Lee. “I had a wonderful class that helped each other with notes, studying, and clinical requirements. It was a very hectic and busy time, but I made some life-long friends.”
The Dentistry Class of 2007 was known for their wonderful skit night performances and videos, and their small but mighty slow pitch team that won almost every year. In the classroom and clinic they benefited from the outstanding teaching of so many faculty, including the memorable Dr. Haase, as well as Dr. Daley, who Lee described as the “perfect” professor.
“We studied hard and partied hard,” said Dr. Lee. They did so amidst the Black Out of 2003, the SARS outbreak, and the capture of Saddam Hussein.