ROAAOMS Underrepresented Minorities (URM) in OMS Mentor Program

The ROAAOMS Underrepresented Minority OMS Mentorship Program was inspired by the need to better connect with minority dental students who are looking to gain perspective on the OMS specialty. Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) make up only approximately 10 percent of OMS residents, despite comprising 32.6 percent of the U.S. population. The goal of this mentorship will be to increase mentees’ knowledge of the OMS specialty, dispel any concerns they may have about entering the field, empower them and guide them through the application process with the intent of increasing the percentages of qualified URMs in the specialty. The Underrepresented Minority OMS Mentorship Program also hopes to:

  • Provide a perspective on the application process and residency to URM dental and pre-dental students who are interested in the OMS specialty, given that many dental schools lack OMS residencies with URM residents or attendings.
  • Provide mentorship and create long-term networking opportunities.
  • Identify obstacles preventing URMs from entering the OMS specialty.
  • Begin earlier recruitment of prospective OMS applicants because of a lack of diversity within dental schools that creates a pipeline issue, which the program aims to address.
  • Provide a relationship that allows for discussion of concerns unique to URMs.
  • Provide education and assistance with the interview process.
  • Offer the potential to survey mentors and mentees to produce a publishable results about recruitment of URMs to the OMS specialty, then undertake interventions to increase recruitment of qualified URM applicants.
Become a mentor to pre-dental and dental students

The roles and responsibilities of a mentor include:

  • Timely communication (within two weeks) expected.
  • Give advice and answer questions related (but not limited) to:
    • CBSE studying.
    • Externships.
    • Application process.
    • Personal statement, CV and letters of recommendation.
    • Advice on schools to apply to/perspective on schools.
    • Interview tips – how to portray and demonstrate yourself as a strong candidate.
    • What to do in case of a low CBSE, rejection, internship/alternative options, etc.
    • Life as an URM resident and navigating conversations regarding race that may occur with patients or staff.
    • Special interests, such as non-traditional applicant issues (i.e., post-dental school), foreign-trained, LBGTQ+ issues, strategy for applying with a lower CBSE and managing a work-life balance.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed in January, May and August. Assignments will be announced within one month from the review date. Please send applications to Laurie Oddo or fax to 847-678-6286.

Are you a pre-dental or dental student looking to join the Underrepresented Minority Mentorship Program? Mentee applications are available.