Dr. Elliott Gnidec: Teaching is a two-way street

gnidec-inset.jpgMeet Dr. Elliott Gnidec, DDS’86, and Adjunct Clinical Professor. Since 1996, he has taught and mentored Schulich Dentistry students,  eager to pass on his experience and skills to the next generation of dental clinicians.

For more than three decades, Dr. Gnidec owned and practiced at his clinic in Woodstock, Ontario, which he decided to sell in 2018.

He spoke to us about clinical teaching and mentorship, and his advice for students.

Why is it rewarding to teach future dentists? 

I am able to provide them with the knowledge that I have gathered through the years, which includes my years in private practice as well as my involvement in the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and the Ontario Dental Association. It’s rewarding to watch students from the time they enter the clinic to when they graduate and how they have developed their dental knowledge and skills.

 What have you learned from students you encounter?  

I encourage students to think critically, which allows them to give me their perspective on dental issues. Since they are involved in the latest research, this often allows me to learn from them, which reminds me that teaching is a two-way street. Aside from being kept up to date on current research, I have had the opportunity to get to know my students, their cultures and backgrounds, especially when I mentor them.

What is your best piece of advice for dentistry students?

Enjoy your time in dental school. Try to gather as much knowledge as you can in all facets of dentistry. Strive to educate yourself throughout your life, be professional with high morals and ethics, and get involved in your community. I also encourage my students to get involved in organized dentistry because they are the future of the profession.