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Keeping it off the hook in the nifty nineties

Schulich Dentistry in the 1990s

The nineties were all that and a bag of chips for Schulich Dentistry, as the decade brought a time of transition and renewed energy to the School. Read about the important highlights and accomplishments from this special time in our history.

Highlights and achievements

Off the hook

Alumni Profiles

Dr. Herbert Veisman, DDS’92

Dr. Herbert Veisman, DDS'92Dr. Herbert Veisman, DDS’92, attended Schulich Dentistry during an extraordinary time in modern history. From the end of the Cold War to the invasion of Kuwait to the introduction of the Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST), momentous and consequential world events were par for the course.

“I am still astonished at what we lived through during those four years,” said Dr. Veisman. “I remember being overwhelmed with emotion as we watched East Germans chip away at the Berlin Wall on television sets in the School.”

He also recalls the rise of Seattle Sound during his years in dental school, with bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam leading the way. Trendy TV shows included Seinfeld and In Living Colour. The hot car of the day was GMC’s Grand National.

“Gas was 45 cents a litre and beer was $2 a pint at the Ceeps,” he added lightheartedly.

Having dreamed of attending Western University as a teenager, Dr. Veisman was thrilled to complete his dental education as a purple and proud mustang. “It was the best decision of my life,” he said. “It was an innovative and exciting time to be a part of dentistry and I wanted to be part of a dental program that was at the forefront of relevant clinical research.”

Looking back at the classmates who shared his experience, Dr. Veisman recalls great school spirit and camaraderie. “The thing I appreciated and enjoyed the most about my colleagues was their ability to work hard in the dental program, but celebrate the victories and achievements with frequency and regularity,” he explained. “We travelled, golfed, played hockey and supported each other through tough times.”

After graduating, Dr. Veisman completed a one-year General Practice Residency at McGill University. He then pursued specialty training in periodontics and implant dentistry, graduating from New York’s Columbia University in 1995. After a highly successful career as a periodontist, researcher and lecturer, Dr. Veisman is focusing on his private Toronto practice of 20 years, the Periodontal Specialists, with special interests in bone reconstruction, rehabilitation, anesthesia and 3D CAT scan imaging.

His advice to dental students and young professionals is simple yet significant. “If you want to succeed, you have to discover the area in your chosen field of dentistry that you truly love and want to dedicate your life to,” he said. “You can reach for the sky as a Schulich Dentistry graduate.”

Dr. Les Kalman, DDS’99

Dr. Les Kalman, DDS'99An innovator in digital dentistry applications, Dr. Les Kalman, DDS’99, got his tech-savvy start at Schulich Dentistry.

“I came from geography, so dentistry presented an enormous new challenge. Even the terminology proved difficult,” he said.  “But the challenge forced me to progress and develop. It was extremely demanding, but rewarding.”

Dr. Kalman acknowledges the faculty and staff for making his experience special, as well as his outstanding clinical exposure. His class had 48 members, and the first Internationally Trained Dentists (ITD) graduated with them in 1999.

Their dental training coincided with the arrival of dial-up Internet and the Y2K scare.

Dr. Kalman stays in touch with his classmates through social media and annual meetings. His involvement with Schulich Dentistry continued as an adjunct clinical professor for several years. In 2011, he became an Assistant Professor in restorative dentistry, and is now the Chair of the Dental Outreach Community Service (DOCS) program. His research initiatives at the School have led to the market launch of Max Align, a digitized facebow application for smart devices.

With time and energy invested in Schulich Dentistry, Dr. Kalman is looking forward to the future of the School. “The future looks bright,” he said. “I am excited and optimistic about the dental school’s transformation as a leader in dental education.”